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Debenhams unveils new in-store restaurants

12 February 2008 by

Department store chain Debenhams has kicked off a £5m overhaul of its in-store restaurants.

The group, which has 141 stores across the UK and Ireland, is updating the interiors and menu of its restaurants in an effort to boost food and beverage sales.

Pre-packed sandwiches have been scrapped in favour of made-to-order hot meals, baguettes, sandwiches and wraps.

Peter Barrett, foodservice director at Debenhams, said: "We carried out major consumer research in 2006 which told us that customers wanted more choice, quicker service and better signage. ‘Freshly prepared' was a feature that came up time and time again.

"We responded with a new look that took all these factors into account and we tested the concept thoroughly in a couple of pilot stores.

"Customers really appreciated the freshly cooked approach and it brought them in droves. We are rolling the concepts out nationally and already, the results have been dramatic," he added.

The move follows the successful implementation of ‘Douwe Egberts Coffee at Debenhams' coffee shops at 30 stores.

The coffee shops, located mainly in high-profile, ground-floor locations and operated by skilled baristas, have driven a 30% increase in food and beverage sales.

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Debenhams food division set for nationwide move >>

By Daniel Thomas

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