What is in this article?:
- Eurofresh Remodel Puts Deli, Meat in Spotlight
- Meat Sales Increase
"We’re above the national average now for meat sales. We wanted meat to be our strength, second only to deli."
— Frank Fortini, manager, Eurofresh Market
TINLEY PARK, Ill. — Eurofresh Market, already having made its way through the recession unscathed, launched right into a redo that has raised sales by double digits — in its deli, in its meat department and in total store revenue.
Starting with service prepared foods, which had lines forming at 5 p.m. every evening that ran into lines at the adjacent slicing deli, the company took quick measures to remedy the traffic jam.
“People were waiting in line twice, to get hot, homemade food dished up, and then at the cold deli. They didn’t like that,” Frank Fortini, Eurofresh manager, told SN.
The company solved the problem by taking an inexpensive route to stop the jam-up at the 16-foot hot case, and got immediate results.
“We took one of the glass sides off the hot food service case, the side nearest the customer, instantly turning it into a self-service counter,” Fortini said. “Customers now can reach right in and pick up hot food, which we have packaged up. Right away, sales went up.”
Within days, hot food sales had increased significantly and within a year had jumped by more than 10% and have stayed there.
“We also saved on labor, and made our customers happy. It made it more convenient for them. They didn’t want to stand in line twice when they’re in a hurry to get home after work.”
The deli, spanning 68 feet across the back of the 63,000-square-foot store, became even more of a draw than it had been before.
The hefty menu of items cooked in the store’s kitchen has always been a hallmark of this store. A menu of 30 to 40 items is tailored to a customer base that represents several ethnic groups. Between 12 and 15 entrees and sides are prepared fresh daily in the store’s kitchen by a team of cooks, who draw most of their ingredients from within the store.
“We have a large produce department that has, depending on the season, about 450 different items. Our owner goes to the market every morning to buy fresh produce,” Fortini said.
The produce assortment also reflects the multi-ethnic customer base surrounding the store here.
Items in fresh produce include Indian karella/bitter melon, methi leaves, tindora peppers, Thai chili peppers, taro root and opo squash, as well as Serrano peppers, daikon and baby bok choy.
The international selection has served Eurofresh well in a very competitive market that includes three Jewel-Osco stores, a Wal-Mart supercenter, a Super Kmart, a Sam’s Club, a Meijer and several specialty stores, all within a three-mile radius.
The hot food menu is a tremendous draw, Fortini said.
“We have a lot of Italian food, and just comfort food like stuffed peppers and meatloaf, and homemade chicken fajitas, and on Sundays we make carnitas. Just Sundays, because they take longer to make, but our customers know they can count on us having them on Sunday.”