Giant Food opens in-store fast-casual restaurant

The Washington, D.C.-area grocer has partnered with local chain Nalley Fresh to offer customizable salads, wraps and bowls.
  • Giant Food debuted an in-store, fast-casual restaurant. 
  • The Nalley Fresh restaurant serves customizable salads, bowls and wraps.
  • Shoppers are increasingly turning to grocers for more restaurant-style amenities, reports FMI.

Giant Food, an Ahold Delhaize banner, this week opened its first in-store, fast-casual restaurant that offers customizable salads, wraps and bowls. 

According to a March 23 release, the Washington, D.C., regional grocery chain partnered with local fast-casual chain Nalley Fresh, a restaurant concept created by Chef Greg Nalley, to open the restaurant inside its Ellicott City, Maryland, store. 

The Nalley Fresh restaurant inside Giant Food opened March 24 and is open for lunch and dinner, operating between 11:00 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. Additionally, customers can order from the Nalley Fresh restaurant on third-party delivery platforms, such a DoorDash and Uber Eats. The local chain was founded in 2011 and the location inside the Giant store will market its 10th location overall, the release said. 

Nalley Fresh focuses on custom meals with protein options along with more than a hundred topping options that include various dressings, sauces and broths, according to the release. The restaurant also has vegan and vegetarian protein options. 

"We are thrilled to bring Nalley Fresh to our Ellicott City store and provide our customers with an unbeatable one-stop shopping experience," said Gregg Dorazio, director of e-commerce at Giant Food, in the release. "We know our customers will enjoy the convenient, healthy and delicious meal offerings, and we're proud to welcome this local concept right in-store at Giant.”

Including the Ellicott City location, the regional grocer operates 165 supermarkets in Virginia, Maryland, Delaware and Washington, D.C. Grocers and other essential retailers have worked to improve their in-store offerings, including by adding more in-store food options, to lure customers. 

As Retail Leader reported last year, more shoppers are purchasing more food service items from grocery stores, according to a 2022 report from FMI. A quarter of shoppers said they were purchasing more grocery food service items than they were in 2021, the report said. Sales for food service at grocers last year surpassed both dollars and unit sales volume from 2021 and from 2019, based on NielsenIQ data cited in FMI’s report. 

Kroger, the largest supermarket operator in the U.S., has added to its food service options at several of its stores in Texas and Ohio. The grocer partnered with the California-based Kitchen United to install ghost kitchens inside the stores that allow shoppers to place orders from at least six restaurants, from SaladWorks to Nathan’s Famous, via kiosks, Retail Leader previously reported.