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Before and after: buffet and salad bars become profitable micro markets

Not long ago the restaurant industry responded to consumer demand for a greater variety of healthy food by adding an ever-growing list of salad options to their menus. This became a precursor to the eventual rise of the salad bar trend. Buffets have been around for many years and have enjoyed steady popularity.

The appeal of adding a centrally positioned salad bar, or buffet line to their dining room was an option that few restaurant owners turned away. As this idea continued to evolve, it became clear that restaurants weren’t the only businesses incorporating this into their menu. School cafeterias, corporate dining halls, hospitals and grocery stores were all more than eager to embrace this self-serve option.

Fast forward to 2020 and the once popular salad bar has quickly become a near relic. Through increased concerns over health and safety, the salad bar and self serve buffet, was one of the first restaurant offerings to be hit the hardest. Where once they were a destination for families enjoying a meal, they now sit unused and taking up space. Operators need options to make the area profitable again.

Through simple and efficiently designed modifications, the salad bar and buffet areas you have, can once again be resurrected with new life. Taking the following steps to retrofit your salad bar or buffet area will transform it into a new, self-service “Micromarket”:

    1. Remove existing guards and drop-in warming and cooling pans
    2. Update the trim and install vertical cases that showcase your pre-packaged products
    3. Fill unused space with strategically placed baskets to organize extra items
    4. Decorate columns and walls with eye-catching, “Micromarket” branding
    5. Convert your horizontal salad bar with a vertical, pre-package food display
    6. Invite customers to select items from a newly renovated, grab-and-go island filled with fresh prepared options 

    Salad Bar Before and After

Salad Bar Retrofit-1

Ready to re-purpose your salad bar, buffet area or maybe both? Get in touch with one of our specialists to further discuss how to make this space profitable in today's landscape. We can help source everything you need to create a safer space for patrons to use, and employees to maintain and stock.

Download a copy of this product perspective here.

Topics: Products and Equipment

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