Ah, the deli. A place to find sustenance and gather with friends. But when it comes to modern delis, there’s more than meets the eye.
These days, a modern deli isn’t just a physical space. It’s a combination of old-school hospitality and new-world technology that helps create an all-encompassing customer experience, from order placement to delivery.
In this article, we’ll explore what it takes to run a modern deli in today’s world—from things like selection, presentation, and service style to tech solutions like loyalty programs, contactless payment options, and digital ordering systems. We’ll also look at the benefits of running a modernized restaurant business in terms of customers and staff satisfaction—and discuss how modern delis are creating experiences that bring loyal followers back time and time again.
From Deli Counter to the Digital Age: How Technology Is Changing the Deli Experience
The deli experience is coming into the 21st century. Automated self-service stores have been implemented in delis, allowing customers to order their food without waiting in line. Digital signs now provide nutrition and other facts about each item, allowing customers to make informed decisions on what they’re ordering. Technology is also playing a larger role in creating innovative customer experiences. Using sensors or facial recognition technology, deli customers can now get customized recommendations and offers.
But technology isn’t only changing up the look of the deli—it’s also keeping true to its roots. Custom menus can be created for each customer, reflecting their preferences and past orders. This helps create an intimate touchpoint between new customers and regular ones; it turns a casual experience into something tailored to each individual. Plus, there are still plenty of old school hospitality elements that remain: helpful staff at the ready to answer questions or offer assistance with orders, free samples for those unsure of what they’d like to try, and more. By combining traditional hospitality with new world technology, the modern deli provides the perfect balance between a familiar experience and something completely new.
Examples of Innovative Delis: Chompie's Deli in Phoenix, Kush by Stephen's in Hialeah & Mile End Deli in Brooklyn
You don't have to look far for examples of delis that have embraced technology and the modern dining experience.
Chompie's Deli in Phoenix, AZ is one example. They offer their classic deli offerings from smoked fish and gourmet sandwiches to their award-winning challah french toast. More recently, you can also reserve a table through OpenTable.com. You can pick a time up to 30 days out, and enjoy your meal in their cozy cafe.
Kush by Stephen's in Hialeah is another shining example of a beloved deli combining old school hospitality with new world technology. Kush purchased Stephen's Deli in 2017 to keep the tradition alive. Now, visitors order cooking staples like corned beef, pastrami, and knishes via DoorDash or on their website so that locals and out-of-towners alike can get their food in minutes.
Mile End Deli in Brooklyn also offers their traditional favorites like smoked meat sandwiches on rye bread through ChowNow—a website that lets you order online directly from the restaurant. And, you don't even have to worry about making sure the order matches up with your taste preferences—their website gives you the power to customize your deli favorite to an exact science.
The Benefits of Online Ordering & Delivery Services for a Modern Deli
Another benefit of modern deli restaurants that you may not have considered is the ease and convenience of online ordering and delivery services. Online ordering and delivery systems provide a clear sales channel for restaurants, which can help make the process simpler for both customers and businesses.
Plus, with minimal human contact required when ordering online, customers can get their favorite deli meals from their favorite local delis without any hassle. This is especially useful during times of social distancing, as it allows customers to receive delicious food while staying safe in the comfort of their own homes.
Most delivery services bring meals from your favorite restaurants right to your doorsteps or even provide catering services for larger events or parties. With these options, local diners are able to take advantage of the benefits of modern technology while simultaneously tapping into the traditional hospitality practices that make delis so popular.
Understanding How Traditional Hospitality Factors Into the Modern Deli
Modern day deli owners know that traditional hospitality still has a place in the restaurant industry. Although most of the ordering and payment processes have been automated, customers still appreciate the traditional aspects of having a meal in a restaurant.
Deli owners must understand the importance of providing customers with a personal touch - from the food to customer service. Providing guests with a warm welcome and farewell and ensuring that they feel cared for during their visit is essential to creating a great experience. Additionally, many delis are emphasizing the story behind their food, highlighting that it was made with locally sourced ingredients or is part of an old family recipe. This not only adds an extra layer of hospitality but it also creates a sense of authenticity and connection to the food.
Finally, deli owners must also keep in mind that when it comes to creating their unique dishes, traditional foods need to be prepared in a traditional way—that’s why cooking techniques passed through generations or specific recipes are so important to uphold. Jewish deli cuisine is seeing a revival and people are craving those classic tastes and experiences—so understanding how to combine old school hospitality with new world technology is key for any modern day deli owner.
Leveraging Social Media to Promote a Modern Deli Business Model
When it comes to giving your modern deli business a boost, social media should be at the top of your list. Social media is a powerful marketing and brand awareness tool for restaurateurs, and it can drive sales by leveraging influencers and targeted ads.
Plus, think of it as a supercharged form of word of mouth advertising: you can give your deli the best "24/7" marketing boost. People are constantly scrolling through social media, so make sure yours stands out with great content that showcases your delicious food and coffee.
If you're feeling overwhelmed, don't worry—you don't need to be an expert in internet marketing. There are plenty of options for creating a successful social media presence for your modern deli. You can hire a PR agency to take care of everything from planning to execution and tracking results, or you could devote time yourself or hire a team member who's adept in social media strategy.
The Future of the Modern Deli Industry
For the modern deli, the future looks bright. As grab-and-go convenience continues to grow in popularity, delis that pair old-school hospitality with new world technology will be well positioned to capture a big slice of the market.
In particular, there is an increasing demand for ready-to-eat meals and snacks as people become busier with their daily lives. With modern delis able to offer a wide variety of food products with pre-made packaging, they are well aligned to cater to this growing customer base.
However, packaging will remain a love-hate affair for the industry—consumers need good quality packaging that helps preserve food safety and freshness; but at the same time, over packaging is seen as a negative waste factor. Fortunately, advances in technology have allowed for better packaging solutions which can help to address both concerns.
According to a report published by Grand View Research in 2021, the global chilled & deli foods market size was valued at USD 217.5 billion in 2021 and is expected to expand further at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3.6% from 2022 to 2028. This indicates that the modern deli industry has significant potential for growth and presents exciting opportunities for those who are bold enough to grab them!
The modern deli is an innovative combination of old-school hospitality and new technology, revolutionizing how customers experience their favorite delis. Whether you're ordering online, via courier delivery, or enjoying the ambiance of a traditional deli, the modern deli is bringing the old-school back to life with new tech—and getting rave reviews while they're at it.
Whether you're looking to enjoy a meal at Chompie's Deli in Phoenix, take a bite at Kush By Stephen's Hialeah Restaurant in Miami, or satisfy your craving at Mile End Deli in Brooklyn, the modern deli brings it all within easy reach, thanks to its blend of hospitality, technology, and experience. It's time to cast the past aside and explore the modern deli for the delicious, exciting, and convenient food options it provides.