instore - March 2018 - 34

INSIGHT INSIDER

same can be said for McGuigan at the commissary. McGuigan and Mogannam, both
San Francisco natives, went to high school
and college together, both earning degrees
from City College of San Francisco's Hotel
and Restaurant Management program. McGuigan worked as a chef in Switzerland, the
Cayman Islands and Paris before returning
to San Francisco to partner with Mogannam in a restaurant, Rendezvous du Monde.
He joined Bi-Rite in 2012. "Sam and I have
cooked in 16 or 17 different kitchens together," he says.
As you're walking the aisles of the Bi-Rite
markets, almost everything you see with a
Bi-Rite label on it comes from the commissary. (Some baked goods are made at the
Creamery kitchen, and occasionally items
like poke bowls are made at the markets.
Originally, McGuigan says, all the foods
now made in the commissary were made in
the kitchen shared by the Creamery and 18
Reasons, Bi-Rite's cooking class/community
outreach arm.)

Tom McGuigan, Bi-Rite's catering manager, brings a wealth of experience as a chef to the job.
Photo: Bi-Rite

The Bi-Rite deli menu changes with the
seasons, but there are perennial favorites,
McGuigan says. Hummus and guacamole
are the two biggest packaged deli items

produced at the commissary. Curry chicken
salad, chicory salad, seasonal salmon dishes
and spaghetti and meatballs and other pas-

tas also are big sellers, he says. On any given
day, the commissary will prepare about 50
different SKUs for the two markets.

Catering
Much of the commissary's recent
success - and Bi-Rite's success
in general - can be traced
to a boom in the company's
catering business, Mogannam
says. "Prepared foods, deli and
bakery all continue to grow
year-to-year, but the greatest
foodservice growth for us is in
catering."
Two years ago, McGuigan
says, the commissary's business
was about 65 percent catering,
35 percent wholesale. By the
end of 2017, it was 80 percent
catering, 20 percent wholesale.
Initially, Bi-Rite built its
catering business primarily by
word-of-mouth, McGuigan says.
It wasn't until mid-2017 that

the company hired a marketing
professional to put together a
marketing plan. A new cateringspecific website was launched in
the third quarter of 2017.
"Traditionally we had done
platters, now we're full-service,"
McGuigan says. Bi-Rite only
added hot foods to the mix in
the fourth quarter of 2017. "We
did a bunch of research to see
how we'd do, and so far, it's been
really well received."
In the age of delivery, it's
no surprise that catering is a
growth business for stores like
Bi-Rite, McGuigan says. And
having a longtime commitment
to high quality only helps. "You
look at all the meal delivery

34 * MARCH 2018 * commissary INSIDER

services, all the on-demand
apps. It seems like you can have
anything delivered to you,"
he says. "But you see all these
start-ups that fail. It's because
this isn't an algorithm. It's food.
You can't treat it like an app."
Bi-Rite has an on-call staff
roster to fully support catering
events of all sizes, McGuigan
says. Typically, orders must be
placed by noon two days before
the event. Bi-Rite also has an
"on demand" menu, featuring
about 10 menu items, that can
be delivered the next day. (The
full catering menu features 50
to 60 items.)
The Bi-Rite crew is capable
of handling everything

from weddings and birthday
parties to corporate galas and
conferences. Food is typically
served family-style, which is a
good fit, McGuigan says, for
Bi-Rite's combination of gourmet
and laid-back neighborhood.
"Our food speaks very well to it.
It's a little less formal. It's warm,
friendly, rustic - kind of 'blacktie hippie.' We treat our guests
the way we'd treat guests in our
own home."
That approach does not,
however, mean the service is
anything short of top-notch.
Just the opposite. "We believe
awesome service means that
guests' needs are met even
before they know it."



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of instore - March 2018

instore - March 2018
Need to Know - Dabates and definitions
Spotlight - By the numbers
Merchandising - Branded baked goods
Specialty Insights - Organic deli products
Cover Story - Bi-Rite Market's Sam Mogannam
Commissary Insider
Insight Insider - Bi-Rite commissary
Equipment - Pizza Production
Food Safety - Allergen detection
Packaging - Grab 'n Go grabs market share
R&D - Investing in the Silicon Valley of food
Equipment & Packaging - Latest innovation: Frying technology
instore - March 2018 - instore - March 2018
instore - March 2018 - instore - March 2018
instore - March 2018 - 2
instore - March 2018 - 3
instore - March 2018 - 4
instore - March 2018 - 5
instore - March 2018 - 6
instore - March 2018 - 7
instore - March 2018 - Need to Know - Dabates and definitions
instore - March 2018 - 9
instore - March 2018 - Spotlight - By the numbers
instore - March 2018 - 11
instore - March 2018 - Merchandising - Branded baked goods
instore - March 2018 - 13
instore - March 2018 - 14
instore - March 2018 - 15
instore - March 2018 - Specialty Insights - Organic deli products
instore - March 2018 - 17
instore - March 2018 - 18
instore - March 2018 - 19
instore - March 2018 - Cover Story - Bi-Rite Market's Sam Mogannam
instore - March 2018 - 21
instore - March 2018 - 22
instore - March 2018 - 23
instore - March 2018 - 24
instore - March 2018 - 25
instore - March 2018 - 26
instore - March 2018 - 27
instore - March 2018 - 28
instore - March 2018 - 29
instore - March 2018 - 30
instore - March 2018 - 31
instore - March 2018 - 32
instore - March 2018 - Insight Insider - Bi-Rite commissary
instore - March 2018 - 34
instore - March 2018 - 35
instore - March 2018 - 36
instore - March 2018 - 37
instore - March 2018 - Equipment - Pizza Production
instore - March 2018 - 39
instore - March 2018 - 40
instore - March 2018 - 41
instore - March 2018 - Food Safety - Allergen detection
instore - March 2018 - 43
instore - March 2018 - 44
instore - March 2018 - 45
instore - March 2018 - Packaging - Grab 'n Go grabs market share
instore - March 2018 - 47
instore - March 2018 - 48
instore - March 2018 - 49
instore - March 2018 - R&D - Investing in the Silicon Valley of food
instore - March 2018 - 51
instore - March 2018 - Equipment & Packaging - Latest innovation: Frying technology
instore - March 2018 - 53
instore - March 2018 - 54
instore - March 2018 - 55
instore - March 2018 - 56
instore - March 2018 - 57
instore - March 2018 - 58
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