,UK

Carluccio’s trials grab-and-go vending machine in Budgens store

The chain is testing new formats to bring the brand to new customers.

Carluccio’s has diversified to grab-and-go, announcing it is trialling a vending machine in a Budgens store in Abingdon, Oxfordshire.

The new unit is equipped with a food-to-go cabinet and self-service coffee, not dissimilar to those operated by Costa in service stations.

Founded by the late chef Antonio Carluccio in 1999 and once a staple of the British high street, the chain was acquired by Boparan Restaurant Group (ERG) for £3.4m last year and has ambitious plans to reinvigorate the brand.

Last month, BRG, which is behind the likes of Gourmet Burger Kitchen, Slim Chickens, and Giraffe, announced a five-year plan to open 500 branches of its new Caffé Carluccio’s concept in high streets, travel hubs, and in Sainsbury’s supermarkets. The company said the move will create 7,500 jobs.

Only 30 Carluccio’s restaurants remain open in the UK.

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The shop will help the chain build brand awareness as the company looks to grow its restaurant footprint.
It will have seating for 46 diners along with ‘grab and go’ options.
The location aims to showcase ‘takeaway classics' that founder Julian Denis and chef Harry Fox grew up with.
The chicken brand was created with British YouTube group The Sidemen.
Digital continues to be the main driver of the business, the company said.
The concept is the brainchild of Dayashankar Sharma, the executive chef behind fine-dining Indian restaurant Heritage Dulwich.
Revenues at the restaurants it has opened this year are “far more” than the chain had expected.
It joins a growing number of food companies that have announced global commitments to eliminate the use of cages in their egg supply chains.
The chain also appointed two more companies in the UK as part of its roster of franchisees.
It also has to open an additional 10 stores over the next two years.
The item was launched by the high street group in 2019 and helped to serve up a significant sales boost in the same year.
53% of consumers are actively counting calories or checking sugar content.