As autumn gets underway and a holiday season mostly free of pandemic-related restrictions beckons, grocers are angling to lure consumers with foodservice offerings designed to transform basic shopping trips into tastier experiences.
Schnucks Markets’ recent announcement that it is adding a branch of St. Louis-area barbecue restaurant chain Salt + Smoke to a location in suburban Kirkwood, Missouri, is emblematic of that trend. The restaurant, which serves local favorites like smoked brisket and white cheddar cheese mac, will operate a small service counter in the store’s food hall, alongside a pair of other restaurants that have had outposts in the recently remodeled location since 2021. Salt + Smoke is calling the new dining concept “Oh Hey! Barbecue.”
Salt + Smoke will take over space formerly occupied by The Shaved Duck, another barbecued food purveyor that was among three restaurants Schnucks introduced at the Kirkwood store last year. Salt + Smoke will share a seating area with the other two restaurants, Seoul Taco and The Greek Kitchen, according to Schnucks.
Schnucks added a store-within-a-store run by St. Louis clothing and footwear seller Arch Apparel in addition to the restaurants when it renovated the 60,000-square-foot store.
Schnucks’ announcement that it has partnered with Salt + Smoke builds on the grocery chain’s efforts in recent years to support restaurateurs. When the pandemic forced dining establishments to close even as food retailers remained open, Schnucks stocked up on prepared foods from local restaurants to help keep those entrepreneurs in business.
In July, Schnucks announced that it would expand a partnership with DoorDash through which it delivers prepared foods like rotisserie chickens, sandwiches, chicken wings and side dishes available to shoppers in as little as 30 minutes.
Here are four other food retailers that have have also recently enhanced their culinary selections: