Home > Solutions > Top Supermarket Concerns

Top Supermarket Concerns

SupermarketConcernsThe following is a summary of the Issues facing Deli Departments as measured by responses from Progressive Grocer’s survey of Retail Deli Executives. These Executives were asked to rank problems on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the most serious.  The data referenced is for both 2009 as well as 2010.

The categories for years are the same, while the rankings have shifted in priority.

We have taken these sections and have presented the information in a ‘Problem / Hardt Solution’ format to explain how Hardt can assist in these areas.

Recruiting Effective Employees7.74
2. Labor Cost7.35
 Local/National Economic Conditions
 Attracting More Shoppers to the Del
 Employee Training
 Other Supermarket Competition
 Non-Supermarket Competition
 Equipment Costs
 Product and/or Ingredient Costs
 Customer Satisfaction
 Food Safety
 Product Quality Levels

Progressive Grocer’s 2009 Deli Operations Review
Duking it Out in the Deli

Research by Debra Chanil Analysis by Meg Major 

Progressive Grocer’s 2010 Deli Operations Review
Deals, Meals Brighten Deli's Appeal

By Meg Major, Debra Chanil

1. Recruiting Effective Employees 7.74

Hardt believes that by clearly defining each role and its responsibilities, the screening process for prospective employees should run smoother. Clearly defined daily and weekly procedures should also reduce employee stress and boost motivation. As a result, Hardt’s Culinary Support team offers production planning support to our clients. The production plan eliminates employee guesswork and streamlines their tasks.

Moreover, motivated employees work effectively. Your staff will appreciate using Hardt’s equipment since it is user-friendly and in some cases eliminates difficult or mundane tasks. For example, our Inferno 3500 is the only gas rotisserie with an AutoClean feature on the market. The CombI-Q is also equipped this feature and stores up to 200 cooking programs. Our Zone hot cases use a simple On/Off switch to control both temperature and lighting.

Back to top


2. Labor Costs 7.35

Hardt’s Culinary Support team can assist in Time/Motion Studies aimed at maximizing your staff’s productivity (i.e. reduce touch time) to decrease labor costs. In addition, our team can perform food testing to refine recipes and cooking procedures, reducing guesswork during production.

Hardt’s equipment is designed to be intuitive. As a result, our clients have reported spending less time training new employees to use our equipment. Using pre-stored cook programs and the AutoClean features on our Inferno 3500 rotisserie and CombI-Q, along with our Cleaning Solution that can automatically clean skewers, pans, racks, baskets and ventilation hood filters, you could reduce your deli’s labor costs. Notably, the cleaning functions can be done at the end of the day after your staff has punched out.

Back to top


3. Local/National Economic Conditions 7.18 

Back to top


4. Attracting More Shoppers to the Deli  6.50

As you are already aware, many factors play a role in drawing customers to your deli. Hardt has gained extensive experience in this area from working with the largest supermarket and wholesale clubs and as a result, we have tailored our services and equipment to help increase our customer’s sales.

The high theater created by the live flame and rotating food in our Inferno 3500 and Blaze rotisseries will attract customers to your deli, helping to drive sales of both hot and cold food segments. Our Zone hot cases are equipped with illuminated signage , attractive lights and mirrored back doors focusing on the food to draw attention. Our hot cases have a strong track record of reliability ensuring you will always have food on display. Food stays consistently warm in our hot cases, owing to our patented Zone technology, creating the impression of freshness as your customers walk by. Hardt can also assist in attracting more shoppers to the deli by suggesting new enticing recipes and helping you with production planning. The latter helps ensure that fresh food is always available. Well stocked hot cases impact customer’s decision to make an impulse purchase.

Back to top


5. Employee Training 6.47

Hardt understands and realizes that training deli employees is a time-consuming and challenging effort, and that the problem is compounded by high employee turnover.

Hardt stresses simplicity and ease-of-use in its entire product line. We have worked and continue to work closely with large retailers, using their feedback to make our products as user-friendly as possible. As a result, our Cleaning Solution and Zone hot cases are operated using a single On/Off switch and our rotisseries and combination ovens can be programmed for one-touch cooking and automatic cleaning. Tack on production planning schedules with our customized training aids, and both new and experienced deli staff will have no problem operating equipment and generating consistent results.

Back to top


6. Profits 6.29   

Hardt’s services and equipment are designed to increase your revenues and lower your costs. Revenues can be increased by drawing customers in with high theater in your deli and offering an enticing menu. Please see Industry Problem # 4 Attracting More Shoppers to the Deli for more details. In addition, our Culinary Support staff can recommend accessories to expand your menu to get the most out of your equipment. Meanwhile Hardt can support in reducing costs by helping to recruit effective employees – Industry Problem #1, reduce labor costs – Industry Problem #2 and simplify employee training using user-friendly equipment and customized work-aids – Industry Problem #5.

Back to top


7. Other Supermarket Competition 6.27

Our Culinary Support Specialists would be happy to help you expand your menu to include enticing food that will frequently lure customers back to your deli. This includes introducing accessories and new recipes to make the most out of your equipment. The Culinary Support staff can also help with production planning procedures to guarantee you always have fresh food available during peak and down times. Proper production planning decreases the likelihood of customers finding empty hot cases and it also ensures ongoing live theater in the deli. Both are important aspects to remaining competitive.

Back to top


8. Non-Supermarket Competition 5.97   

Back to top


9. Equipment Costs 5.94   

Our main focus is on reducing your total cost of ownership over the life of the equipment. This includes building long lasting reliable products to minimize your maintenance and repair costs. Our equipment is built in North America using top quality parts and workmanship. We have confidence in our products, which is why we back them with a best in the industry 2-year parts and labor warranty. In terms of durability, our most notable achievement is our impeccable reliability record for our line of hot cases- The Zones. In an ongoing study of over 1 million operating days, the Zone hot cases have been 99.997% reliable! This has kept a lid on our customer’s repair costs.

Additionally, Hardt’s products are designed for energy efficiency and where possible built using fewer parts to reduce maintenance expenses. Overall, our goal is to lower your costs.


Back to top


10. Shrink/Waste 5.76   

Hardt can help you control shrink by developing food programs to limit waste. This includes producing an optimal production plan for your deli for each day of the week. We can also work with you to create an assortment of menu items that make use of the unsold food products. 

Our hot cases are built using our patented zone technology. Each hot case has multiple independent thermostats, strategically placed across its surface. The thermostats automatically adjust heat to ensure food temperature in that zone is maintained at a safe level without overcooking to reduce waste.

Back to top


11. Product and/or Ingredient Costs 5.70 

Back to top


12. Customer Satisfaction  5.68   

Hardt’s ovens produce quality food that will exceed your customers’ expectations. Our Inferno 3500 rotisserie and CombI-Q both have programmable cooking functions, helping make sure you offer a consistent product across all your locations. Meanwhile, our Culinary Support Specialists can aid with production planning to ensure that fresh food will always be available. They can also assist you with new menu ideas to create an exceptional offering.

Back to top


13. Food Safety 5.67   

Hardt’s ServSafe-trained staff can assist you in building a safe and sanitary food program. Our staff ensures that your employees understand how to properly clean your equipment and provide documented procedures to follow from morning until end-of-day clean up. 

Our Zone hot cases were designed in response to a client’s need to hold food in the safe temperature zone without operator intervention, after they had experienced food safety issues with other hot cases that did not maintain temperature uniformly. Hot cases remain popular among our clients, especially given their 99.997% reliability record over 1 million operating days.

Back to top


14. Sanitation  5.45

Back to top


15. Product Quality Levels 4.09

Our rotisseries and combination ovens produce high quality food, which is why our equipment is used by the largest deli programs in North America.

As mentioned above, our Zone hot cases are designed to consistently hold food in a safe temperature zone,  ensuring that food quality can be maintained even several hours after cooking.

Back to top