Governments around the world have imposed great measures to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus and Canada is no exception. Canadians have also been ordered to stay at home and practice social distancing.
While, for many people, this simply means working from home and waiting for the pandemic to blow over, this isn’t possible in all industries. There’s a silver lining, however. The pandemic is forcing businesses to be innovative, and this is excellent news for business owners and Canadian retail investors alike.
Businesses in the foodservice industry are considered to be essential. However, the restrictions on gatherings have caused a decrease in profits for many restaurants and eateries. Since they cannot allow their guests to dine in and hang out, they have to find other ways to improve their bottom line.
Several restaurants and eateries that have been affected by the COVID-19 outbreak have only slightly changed their businesses to stay afloat. Many have chosen to start offering takeouts and deliveries to their customers and new ones alike. Even offering a bag of flour or toilet paper as a perk to ordering with them. While this is a great way to retain customers and minimize the economic impact of the government-imposed restrictions, there’s another solution.
If you’re not familiar with this type of business, a grocerant is a restaurant and grocery store in one. And this type of business is becoming an alternative to the once exclusive restaurants across Canada.
Canadian restaurant chains have started selling groceries to increase their profits and stay in business. They’re offering their customers pantry staples, meat, and other food items.
Considering that many traditional grocery stores are quickly selling out their food stocks, this is a great opportunity for consumers to get their hands on the much-needed groceries and help their favourite restaurants and eateries stay in business.
So far, grocerants have proven to be quite popular among consumers. In the past, we’ve seen supermarkets such as Whole Foods and Loblaws do a very similar thing — they’ve simply expanded their store and started offering sit-down meals and dine-in to encourage customers to shop longer.
Restaurants are now doing just the opposite. Considering how successful this shift to grocerants was for supermarkets, we can only expect the trend to take off among restaurants as well as long as the regulation does not hinder their progress.
It’s expected that grocerants will only grow in popularity even after the COVID-19 has been dealt with. Reports show that it’s not just popular among independent restaurants, but also deep-pocketed legacy chains, like Panera Bread and Subway are adopting the same tactic.
Restaurants in Canada are taking action and working to retain and grow their customer base. As more turn to alternative business models to stay afloat those who are successful, like grocerant owners, will need space to expand as their inventory began to grow.
This is excellent news for Canadian commercial real estate investors. As new grocerants start opening up there will be an additional demand for CRE retail space and investors who are paying attention to this trend will continue to continue to find great retail investment opportunities as well.