SAN ANTONIO --In the race for retail foodservice, grocery stores do not seem to be slowing down any time soon. As consumers increasingly turn to supermarkets for both convenient meals and sit-down dining experiences, H-E-B is investing in the further extension of its brand beyond grocery stores with the launch of a new seafood eatery and expanded in-store pizza offerings.
The San Antonio-based retailer on Jan. 26 debuted True Texas Boil House, a new grab-and-go concept featuring Cajun-inspired seafood baskets, sides and items sold by the pound. Located on the front patio of the H-E-B store at 10100 Beechnut St. in Houston, the free-standing venue will be open Fridays through Sundays from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Mondays from 3 to 9 p.m.
Pinch, peel, eat, repeat
The menu at H-E-B’s new 625-square-foot eatery offers fried seafood baskets featuring catfish, shrimp and combos; boiled crawfish, jumbo head-on Gulf shrimp, easy-peel shrimp and snow crab legs; as well as an array of side dishes, such as Cajun fries, southern hush puppies, coleslaw and seasoned corn and potatoes.
Grab a seat or grab and go
Inspired by the popularity of H-E-B’s parking lot crawfish broils in its Houston locations, the venue features an order window where customers can take their meals to go or grab a seat at an outdoor table, according to the Houston Chronicle.
“About 10 to 12 years ago, stores started doing crawfish boils in tents,” Chavel Melchor, perishable leader of the Beechnut H-E-B told the newspaper. “True Texas Boil House makes things more efficient. We are able to produce at a faster rate for customers and support the needs of the community.”
Personalized pizza offerings
In addition to its new True Texas Boil House, H-E-B also recently expanded the menu items at its South Flo Pizza in-store restaurant concept. First launched in 2016, South Flo Pizza is located inside 11 stores, available daily for lunch and dinner.
The eatery’s new offerings include an 8-inch personal-sized pizza for $7. At half the size of the eatery’s traditional 16-inch pizza, which is available for $10, the new personalized item can serve as a meal for one person or a quick snack to share, the retailer said, and is made to order, featuring all the same flavor options as the larger sizes, including supreme, pepperoni, meat and cheese.
H-E-B also expanded South Flo Pizza’s beer selection and introduced wine options—including Chardonnay, Cabernet and a red blend—to its daily happy hour special, available from 4 to 7 p.m. for $10. The retailer expects to roll out happy hour specials involving the new personal-size pizzas sometime early next year.
More to come
H-E-B is also tinkering with new flavor ideas to introduce later in 2019, such as Buffalo Chicken featuring Frank’s RedHot Sauce; Seven Pepper Vegetarian Pizza; traditional Margherita Pizza; the Kitchen Sink; and an Impossible veggie option that includes Impossible meat crumbles.