Giant Eagle Goes Fast Casual Everyday

Dec 06, 2002
George Anderson

By George Anderson

Consumers are flocking to fast casual dining establishments and Giant Eagle wants in on the action.

Lou Coppola, director of prepared foods, Giant Eagle told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, “Basically we want to be a stand-alone restaurant that happens to be in the grocery store.”

Giant Eagle will take its first steps in that direction when it debuts the concept in two stores this Sunday. At one of the stores, customers will be able to come in a separate entrance without having to go through the main store. Here they will be able to get items for takeout or for eating on premises.

Solganik & Associates of Dayton, Ohio worked with Giant Eagle in developing its prepared foods program.

Moderator’s Comment: Do you think Giant Eagle is on
the right track with its fast casual dining approach?

Most supermarkets do a mediocre job in demonstrating that
they love food. This failure is the difference between creating an atmosphere
that encourages consumer experimentation to one where shoppers simply take boxes,
bags and cans off the shelf.

If Giant Eagle succeeds in making a sensory connection
with its shoppers, this could be big. If it is a redux of what generally passes
for prepared foods in grocery stores, than the outcome will be predictably awful.
Anderson – Moderator

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