HALEDON, N.J. -- Nicholas Markets/Foodtown here is getting ready for the summer party season by taking to the video screen and the barbecue grill.
Video monitors showing a videotape of the retailer's catering capabilities have been installed in the delis, and an outdoor expo showing off barbecue products is set for Memorial Day weekend.
The video, which made its debut in unedited form at an in-store expo in December, gets much of the credit for a 25% jump in catering business in the first few months of this year compared with the same period a year earlier, said Nick Lacatena, senior vice president of the four-unit independent, which is supplied by wholesale cooperative Twin County Grocers, Edison, N.J.
Since the first of this year, the video has been shown via a monitor placed at the end of the deli service counters, but this month the retailer mounted overhead monitors, which will show the video continuously, in each deli. Copies of the video also have been sent to 30 major businesses in the area. Among them are Century 21 Realty, Nabisco and ITT. The upcoming "barbecue expo" will be filmed and possibly spliced into the video after Memorial Day weekend, Lacatena said. That event will mark the first time the retailer has shown off its barbecuing capabilities. "We'll have three people barbecuing filet mignon and London broil. We'll be sampling those items, but we'll also be selling hot dogs for 75 cents, hamburgers for $1 and sausage and pepper sandwiches for $2," said Lacatena.
"We want to keep the prices low in order to attract attention, but we're charging enough to recover our costs," he added.
The expo will give the retailer an opportunity to promote barbecue parties as a new addition to its catering repertoire. The company will send out a cook and even supply the barbecue grill if needed.