Reading Terminal's new manager's take on salient issues facing the Market

Discussion in 'Food and Drink (Philadelphia Restaurants & Bars)' started by phillyaggie, Jun 4, 2018.

  1. phillyaggie

    phillyaggie Well-Known Member

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    Anuj Gupta has been there with the market a few years now, so not a totally new guy.

    But an interesting interview with him nonetheless.

    I hadn't been to the Market in many months, so it was a surprise to see a "new" (to me) vegan food cart/pop-up, and several stalls closed and behind tarps...probably undergoing changes ahead of new ownership? The crowds were just as big and people-watching was just as much fun on a Wednesday afternoon lunch... even more so because some national convention for english as a second language teachers and students was in town.

    Looks like Anuj Gupta is addressing at least some challenges in a different way... he is using more tech and offering more conveniences. Not sure if this will change the character of the market, but it seems obvious that the Market can't just stay put and do nothing even as competition around it, and people's lifestyles, change rapidly.

    Having said all that>>>> TL; DR:
    -Expect home delivery service from RTM!
    -Expect concierge/curb-side drop off service.
    -Expect to see new vendors, especially more local breweries.

    The full interview:
    Reading Terminal manager Anuj Gupta taking the market into the future
     
  2. phillyaggie

    phillyaggie Well-Known Member

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    What are some of the new vendors coming to the market you’re most excited about?

    I’m proud to have taken steps to diversify our merchant mix, and I’m excited, for example, about Loco Lucho, a Puerto Rican concept with an amazing menu from two guys who started their business doing tailgates at Eagles games. It should be open within the next few weeks. LUHV Vegan Deli is coming from the Luccis, an Argentinean family which has run Cafe Con Leche in Newtown for many years. They developed all their own vegan recipes and have been one of the most popular operators of our day carts for several months. They’ll be opening a permanent stall [around late August]. You’re also going to see a space for local distillers, with six new kiosks where different producers will be giving samples and sell their products. I’m not quite ready to announce some other forthcoming folks … but we were working on some more fresh-food options with a local production emphasis even before the Fair Food Farmstand announced they were shutting down.

    Are there any other innovations coming that will help the market stay relevant to today’s shoppers?
    We piloted an e-commerce site for the first time this Thanksgiving. People were able to order online, skip the line at Godshall’s, and we just brought the turkey out to them. We believe that because of this competitive environment, there needs to be an e-commerce space. So we’ve hired a developer to build a full e-commerce site for the market that will include pickup options and, ultimately, will also include delivery.

    So people will soon be able to shop the Reading Terminal Market, but never actually go there?
    Yes. … We close at 6 p.m., which is a topic of much debate and a constant struggle, because people often don’t leave work before then. We have to figure out how to make ourselves more accessible — and e-commerce is one of these steps.
     

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