John Lewis to spend big on catering kit?

John Lewis looks set to make what could turn out to be a significant investment in catering equipment by rolling out a new restaurant concept.

The department store retailer believes a revamp of its food offering will attract additional customers and make it more competitive against rival retailers.

Chief executive, Andy Street, told business newspaper City AM that while John Lewis’ restaurants and cafeterias were profitable and provided good quality, “middle of the road” food, they were not “cutting edge” brands.

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“There is an opportunity to bring some more diversification into our catering offer. By having a slightly different branding offer we can attract a different customer,” he said.

The paper said that details of the new restaurant brand could be unveiled “within weeks”.

It said that the concept would be a more effective use of space at larger stores and allow it to better compete with internet shopping.

It noted that other retailers are also investing heavily in their catering operations.

Tesco last week unveiled a new-look store in Watford featuring a Giraffe restaurant, Harris + Hoole coffee shop and Euphorium bakery, while Debenhams is spending £25m replacing office space at its flagship London Oxford Street store with a restaurant, cafe and bistro.

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