Hy-Vee Inc. will change several full-service Market Grille restaurants to self-service establishments, according to a published reports. The Market Grille Express locations, which are slated to roll out over the next month, will offer a more limited menu than the sit-down restaurants, and customers will order their meals and pay for them at a walk-up counter.
The Des Moines Register reported that the conversions to Express locations, which will require only minor, construction, would take place at seven Iowa stores, three in Des Moines, three in West Des Moines and one in Ankeny.
Hy-Vee spokeswoman Amy McCoy told the newspaper that the Express restaurants were in response to consumers’ desire for “a quick-eating experience.”
By the end of this month, the West Des Moines-based grocer will have 43 Hy-Vee Market Grille restaurants and 76 Market Grille Express restaurants. The company anticipates no layoffs of its restaurant workers.
Hy-Vee’s pullback on its full-service restaurants may be in keeping with its decision to slow its growth in other areas: The grocer plans to take “a little pause” in its ongoing rollout of Twin Cities area stores, as CEO Randy Edeker described it to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, and has also revealed a delay in building a new distribution facility in Austin, Minn., and a re-evaluation of the size of its stores, with a focus on alternative formats and possibly smaller footprints.