Grocers Pulling Out Stops to Keep Salad Bars Going

Grocery stores are doing whatever it takes — including deploying robots — to save their lucrative salad bars from becoming a relic of pre-pandemic shopping.

In a push to ease skittish consumers and shore up sales, some chains are tossing prepackaged salads into the bar’s now-empty bins, a stopgap measure that’s easy to do, but eliminates the customization — extra onions, less croutons, etc. — that shoppers crave.

Publix Super Markets Inc. placed an employee next to the bar to take orders during peak hours, but that full-service option slows things down and adds labor. Others are renting space to food service chains, which eats into profit and cedes control.

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