Waitrose to offer customers ‘restaurant style’ dining experience

Chefs working at commercial kitchen

Waitrose customers will soon be able to enjoy eating out at their local branch in the evenings.

The supermarket chain is launching its first official ‘Supper Club’ at its newest store, in Haywards Heath, offering meals created by chefs from the retailer’s three Cookery Schools (on London’s Finchley Road and King’s Cross, and in Salisbury).

Haywards Heath opened on March 30. With 29,500sq ft of selling space, it is the retailer’s largest store in Sussex and the biggest that Waitrose will open this year.

The branch’s mezzanine level store café will be transformed for a total of eight evenings throughout late April (19, 20, 27, 28) and May (3, 4, 11, 12). Bookings are now being taken for the 50 places available each evening at www.waitrose.com/supperclub.

Music and ambient lighting will feature while tables will be laid out for both couples and larger groups. Customers will be able to choose from a three course menu, including nibbles and drinks, for £35.

The grocer trialled its supper club concept for a short period last year in its Newbury and Salisbury stores.

Waitrose Cookery Schools manager Karen Himsworth said: “This aims to deliver the next level of in-store dining at Waitrose, building upon concepts like our sushi bars and wine bars. We want to make our stores a food destination in the evenings as well as in the day.

“We realise a supermarket might not spring to mind when people are thinking about dining out in the evening, but we want that to change. Our aim is to create an atmosphere that’s inviting, whether you’re having a meal for two or out with a group of friends.

“We will look at next steps after we have finished the initial eight dates. But our aspiration is for this to continue at Haywards Heath and to explore how we might introduce it at in other branches across the estate.”

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