Churchill’s has opened a new 2,000 sq ft restaurant and takeaway in Eastbourne, East Sussex, its first within a shopping precinct and its first to offer a multitude of ways for customers to order, pay and receive their food.
Located within the recently modernised Langney Shopping Centre, the site seats 45 for eating in (30 during Covid) alongside offering takeaway, delivery and click & collect. Customers coming into the store can order at the counter, via a self-serve kiosk or through an app at their table, offering convenience, speed and consistency.
The empty premises were initially acquired back in May 2020 but the decision was taken to mothball the site until restaurants were fully open and consumer confidence in dining in had returned. In the meantime, it allowed Churchill’s to design the store to meet the changing market.
Paul Goodgame, managing director of The Chesterford Group, which owns the Churchill’s brand, comments: “We’ve had the opportunity to work out and understand how we could evolve things what with this huge shift in how people are ordering from us now. So, for example, we’ve been able to build in a much stronger delivery section in the business. We’ve learned from customers that are walking in and their frustrations that perhaps the focus is not on serving them because they can hear tablets going off and drivers walking in and out. So we’ve put a completely separate section that deals with deliveries right out the back of the store so customers don't even see or hear it.
“We’d been working on introducing a kiosk to our stores for a little while, so this is the first one. It’s about looking at the younger generation and how they like to order, but also trying to make sure that we've got a service platform that everyone can order from us however they feel comfortable, as opposed to what we prefer to do. We’ve also taken the opportunity to introduce a customer collection point and an order at table app. So there's a lot of tech going on in the store.”
As well as investing in new ordering technology Churchill’s has installed a five pan Kiremko frying range from KFE complete with a built-in Synergy grill for burgers and ribs.
The store had a soft opening last week, giving the 20-strong team of staff a chance to try out the multiple ordering options one at a time, before coming together for the launch to the public today.
Commenting on the location of the new outlet, Paul adds: “It is quite unusual for us, we've been in town centres, but not really in shopping centres before. But what appealed to us about this site is it's literally in the centre of a densely populated residential area, there's free parking right outside of the store and, while the side of the store is in the shopping centre, we've got the benefit of the front being open to the main car park. So even when the shopping centre closes, we can still trade.
“We’ve been told that the Costa Coffee here is the busiest in the south-east so if that’s anything to go on, we hope our site is going to be a cracker.”