Today in Food Commerce: BJ’s Wholesale Club Goes Small; Chipotle Talks Robotics

BJ's Wholesale, ADS, Capital One

Today in food commerce, BJ’s Wholesale Club unveils a smaller store format, while Karla Fiske, director of digital customer experience product management at Chipotle Mexican Grill, speaks with PYMNTS about kitchen automation. Plus, HelloFresh adjusts its menus in response to inflation.

BJ’s Wholesale Club Opens Smaller BJ’s Market in Warwick, RI

BJ’s Wholesale Club has opened its first BJ’s market concept club in Warwick, Rhode Island, unveiling a location that’s 43,000 square feet, about half the size of its full-sized clubs and features fresh foods, produce, sundries and seasonal products for BJ’s members.

Chipotle: Automation Helps QSRs Keep Digital, on-Site Diners Well Served

In the Feature Story for the April edition of the Order to Eat Tracker®, Karla Fiske, director of digital customer experience product management at Chipotle Mexican Grill, talked about how quick-service restaurants (QSRs) and fast-casual restaurant chains are using automation to help make their kitchens and frontline operations more efficient while attracting and enticing workers to remain in a high-pressure work environment.

HelloFresh Sees Pandemic Cooking Habits Continuing Into the Future

Contagion concerns may have subsided considerably, but many consumers are holding onto their cooking-at-home habits. In a call with analysts discussing multinational meal kit company HelloFresh’s first-quarter 2022 earnings results, Founder and CEO Dominik Richter said at-home cooking is a “very sticky category,” adding that it is “here to stay.”

Food Trucks’ Post-Lockdown Renaissance

From Seinfeld-themed popups to ghost kitchen hybrids, food trucks are making a comeback. With the rising demand for off-premise meals and the low barrier of entry relative to establishing brick-and-mortar restaurants, the model makes more sense than ever.

Restaurant Apps Must Offer Exclusive Features to Drive Use

Tim Weiderhoft, CEO of Wow Wow Hawaiian Lemonade, a growing fast-casual chain with 13 locations in the United States and abroad, said in an interview with PYMNTS that, for a restaurant’s app to be successful, the brand needs to offer a purpose for using it that goes beyond the desktop web ordering experience. If a brand cannot provide that, it is better to hold off on launching until the app has more to offer.