M&S unveils new café format as it extends ‘store renewal programme’ – order via smartphone

M&S unveils new café format as it extends ‘store renewal programme’ – order via smartphone


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Marks and Spencer now has its transformative concept in 16 stores across the country. It aims to showcase the quality, value and freshness of its food offer as well as showcase innovative concepts such as Fill Your Own and Coffee Tasting, backed by more efficient store operations.

The new café, which is located at Sears Retail Park in Solihull, is designed with a new format to modernise M&S’ restaurants. 

It focuses on a digital customer experience with on-screen and on-phone ordering.

The concept could be rolled out to more stores nationwide as part of the retailer’s store renewal programme.

What’s more, the entire café menu has been transformed, making sure it offers something for all of the family, with a focus on healthier options and children’s meals.

The restaurants will use the same ingredients on offer to customers in its Foothills, as well as offering new additions to the menu.

This will include a children’s meal deal, breakfast bowls and new vegan options. 

Customers can place their order in seconds either via their smartphone at their table or via the new self-service digital screens. 

QR codes are in place at every table offering easy access to the menu.

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All food is said to be prepared on site, and to reduce packaging, the fridge that usually houses packaged sandwiches and bottled drinks has been removed.

All milk is also organic and all coffee beans are Fairtrade.

Customers can also take advantage of its water refill station. 

Caroline Cromar, Head of Hospitality at M&S said: “We’re absolutely delighted to have opened our first café transformation in Solihull this week.

“The café has been developed to create a warm and inviting space for our customers to relax as part of their shopping experience.

“The new operating model allows for a seamless ordering process and improved speed, whilst delivering exceptional M&S quality food and drink that our customers know and trust.”

The opening of the Solihull branch marks M&S’ 16th food renewal store, following recent refurbishments of M&S Stratford City, M&S Wolstanton, M&S Gyles and M&S Lisburn, and new store openings at Paisley, Staines and Straiton. 

The retailer has said a further 24 renewal stores are planned for 2021/20211, taking the total to 40.

It has also said a further two cafés are in the pipelines, but the locations are not yet known.

The M&S renewal strategy is all about creating the feel of a fresh food market. 

These stores have increased produce, grocery and frozen ranges, as well as innovative concepts like Fill Your Own.

M&S has said that customer feedback at each store has been “excellent” so far. 

Stuart Machin, Chief Operating Officer and Managing Director of M&S Food said: “We’re relentlessly focussed on protecting the magic of our delicious, great quality M&S Food at fantastic value whilst at the same time modernising how we bring these products to our customers – and that’s what our Store Renewal programme is all bout.

“We’ve seen our renewal store concepts deliver a bigger, better and fresher experience for customers across Food and we’re excited to expand the programme further this year.

“With hospitality being a key part of the M&S shopping experience for many of our customers, by testing our café renewal format in Solihull, we hope to cement our reputation as a great destination for families.”

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