Asda’s new look café concept

Asda Cafe foodservice by Interior fit-out specialist The Alan Nuttall Partnership Ltd

Nuttalls has teamed up with Asda, one of the ‘big four’ supermarket chains in the UK, to create a new quality in-store dining experience in some of its stores called Express Diner.

Trialled in Grantham, the Express Diner – which sells a 16” pizza for £5 and everything else for just £1, including jacket potatoes and hot dogs – has proved such a success, it has been installed in superstores in Leicester, Colne, near Burnley, and Strelley, near Nottingham.

Reflecting demand for high street brands and added value, customers can enjoy Seattle coffee and Yorkshire tea, while Ella’s pouches are free with any purchase from the menu when feeding a baby. Soft drink refills and filtered water are also free as an extra enticement.

Graeme Cherrie, one of the design managers for Asda’s fresh food areas, said:

Our traditional cafes offer breakfast and hot meals through to coffee and cake, but the new Express Diners are a fresh, value for money concept, where customers can eat in or take away.Our customers want quality and choice at great value for money and so they can enjoy a drink and a bite to eat while in-store, we continue to invest in our in-house offering.

When it came to the ‘look’, we were keen for it to have a contemporary high street feel, while bringing in elements of the Asda brand identity. The counters and displays also needed to be flexible so they could be quickly adapted to reflect future fashion trends.

Nuttalls, which has designed and installed bespoke solutions for Asda’s deli and pizza counters for 20 years, came on board and recommended the Flexeserve Intelligent Chassis Counter System, the system offering a less restrictive approach to selling food, enabling outlets to become a ‘theatre set’ of flexible equipment that is easily modified and interchangeable.

Operators can choose from a whole range of heated, chilled or ambient drop-in displays, from heated and chilled delis and multidecks to bain marie, soup modules and jacket potato stations, and you can add or remove units to suit trends and seasonality, refresh with interchangeable valance panels and re-configure in a straight line or with internal or external angles and curves.

The Flexeserve system at the Express Diners has a ‘premium’ look and feel, incorporating wood and chrome, and features equipment designed and developed by Nuttalls including a ceran pizza holding unit, a hot dog heating and holding unit, as well as matching condiment stations.

Graeme Cherrie adds:

What we like about Flexeserve is that it is modular and versatile. Fashions come and go, but our focus is always on value for money, so this engineering provided a great opportunity for our requirements, enabling us to future proof our in-store dining concepts.

Nuttalls not only supplies counters and equipment for its cafes and diners, but also produces display fixtures for many of the retailer’s areas across the store.

Already recognised as one of the UK’s leading shopfitters, The Alan Nuttall Partnership Ltd specialises in interior fit-out, main and principal contracting, retail display design, manufacture and installation of fixtures, signage, foodservice and refrigeration equipment for retail, commercial, hospitality, leisure, foodservice and the public sector.