The UK supermarket chain is embarking on a major revamp of its in-store café offer, including the expansion of The Restaurant Hub concept with Boparan Restaurant Group (BRG) and doubling the number of in-store Starbucks outlets to 60
A Caffé Carluccio’s store in Sainsbury's new ‘The Restaurant Hub’ concept | Photo credit: Sainsbury's
Sainsbury’s has announced a major revamp of its eat-in, takeaway and home delivery food and beverage offer. The move follows a successful trial of ‘The Restaurant Hub’ concept at its Selly Oak store in Birmingham.
Working in partnership with Boparan Restaurant Group (BRG), The Restaurant Hub offers customers eat-in, takeaway and home delivered hot food and beverages from a range of F&B brands, including Caffè Carluccio’s, Gourmet Burger Kitchen, Ed’s Diner and Slim Chickens.
In a press release, Sainsbury’s said it now plans to open 30 more of the concepts across the UK, with the intention to accelerate the roll-out in if the format continues to prove popular with customers.
As part of the plans, the supermarket giant will also open 30 new Starbucks outlets in its stores over the next 12 months, bringing the total number to 60. Sainsbury’s says it will work with BRG and Starbucks to ‘transform’ its in-store F&B offer across 250 supermarkets over the next three years.
The changes mean that Sainsbury’s will permanently close 200 of its own-brand in-store cafés, a move which could result in the loss of up to 2,000 jobs. In a statement, the supermarket sought to reassure that it would seek to redeploy affected staff elsewhere in the business.
“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,” said Simon Roberts, CEO, Sainsbury’s.
“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.
“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.”
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.
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.”
Boparan Restaurant group opened its first Caffé Carluccio’s
coffee shop at Sainsbury’s St Albans superstore in June 2021.
The Carluccio’s restaurant group collapsed into administration in March 2020 during the UK’s first Covid-19 lockdown
and was subsequently acquired by BRG in a £3.4m ($2.5m) deal the following June.
BRG now operates a portfolio of nine UK casual dining brands, including Gourmet Burger Kitchen, Giraffe and Slim Chickens. The Carluccio's restaurant brand remains operational across 29 sites in the UK.