30 food halls and 30 Starbucks cafes to open in first year; targeting 250 in total

Sainsbury’s today announced bold new plans to transform its eat-in, takeaway and home delivery food and drink offer. The move follows a successful trial of a new food hall format called The Restaurant Hub at its Selly Oak store in Birmingham.

Working in partnership with Boparan Restaurant Group (BRG), The Restaurant Hub at Sainsbury’s Selly Oak store offers customers eat-in, takeaway and home delivered hot food and drink from a range of popular brands – including Caffè Carluccio’s, Gourmet Burger Kitchen, Ed’s Diner and Slim Chickens. Sainsbury’s and BRG plan to open 30 more The Restaurant Hubs in the next year, with the intention to accelerate the roll-out in future years if the format continues to be popular with customers.

At the same time, Sainsbury’s will also open a further 30 Starbucks coffee shops in its supermarkets in the next twelve months, bringing the total number of Starbucks in Sainsbury’s supermarkets to 60. Working with BRG and Starbucks, Sainsbury’s plans to transform the eat-in, takeaway and home delivered hot food and drink offer in 250 of its supermarkets over the next three years.

Sainsbury’s has spoken to all of its cafe colleagues today to let them know that it is proposing to close 200 Sainsbury’s cafes in the spring this year. Around 2,000 colleagues are likely to be impacted because of the changes. Colleagues affected will be prioritised for vacant roles in Sainsbury’s stores and will be encouraged to explore alternative roles within the wider business.

67 Sainsbury’s cafes will stay open while Sainsbury’s reviews rollout plans.

Sainsbury’s also today announced plans to close less popular hot food counters in 34 stores and simplify the way it runs its bakeries in 54 stores. These colleagues will enter into consultation, with the aim of redeploying those affected to other areas of their store where possible.

Simon Roberts, Sainsbury’s Chief Executive Officer said: 

“We know that customers like the convenience of being able to have a drink, a snack or a meal while they’re doing their shopping – and that they love the range of food and brands on offer at The Restaurant Hub and from Starbucks. Whether customers are shopping for food, for Tu clothing, Habitat homewares or at Argos, the offer at The Restaurant Hub means they can also have breakfast, lunch or dinner in the store – or take a hot meal home with them. Through our trials with Boparan Restaurant Group and Starbucks we have learnt that we can offer customers a much better eat-in and takeaway experience working with partners. We are totally focused on improving what we can deliver for our customers and at the same time, working hard to make our business simpler. We are really excited about this new customer offer we will be rolling out over the next two to three years across many of our stores.

“As we go through this period of transition, we have taken the difficult decision to close 200 of our cafes next month. We have spoken to all colleagues affected by these changes today and are absolutely committed to supporting them in any way we can during this uncertain time. Of course, we understand this is very unsettling for our colleagues, but we must keep adapting our business to make sure we are offering customers the best possible food and drink at affordable prices.”

Satnam Leihal – CEO, Boparan Restaurant Group said:

“The Restaurant Hub allows customers to enjoy multiple brands by placing one order with one payment which can all be enjoyed on site, or all delivered in one bag with just one delivery charge. This gives customers choice that never existed before and we’re delighted to be the first in the market to land this experience with such incredible brands.

“Customers are returning week in week out thanks to great quality food, brilliant service and unrivalled choice and we now look forward to rolling out our innovative Restaurant Hub concept across the country.”

Alex Rayner, General Manager Starbucks UK said: 

“We look forward to building on our existing relationship with Sainsbury’s to bring the safe, convenient, Starbucks Experience to more of their customers, and for our cafes to play an important role as a gathering place within the community.

“COVID-19 accelerated customer trends towards convenience and as a result we’ve continued to increase investment in new formats and digital channels such as Drive-Thru, delivery, Mobile Order and Pay and our loyalty program Starbucks® Rewards.”

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