Emerging Brands

A pair of retail-restaurant hybrids join forces in Chicago

Foxtrot Market and Dom's Kitchen & Market, which offer both freshly made meals and groceries, are merging to create Outfox Hospitality.
Foxtrot's upscale corner stores include cafes. | Photo courtesy of Foxtrot

A pair of Chicago-based retailers that blur the lines between grocer and restaurant are merging, the companies said Monday.

The deal between Foxtrot Market and Dom's Kitchen & Market will create a new entity, Outfox Hospitality, that will aim to "redefine food shopping and dining experiences," according to a press release. 

It comes as restaurants are facing stronger competition from convenience and grocery stores, both of which are investing more in freshly made food. And in this case, the two concepts are just as much restaurants as they are retailers.

Foxtrot is a cross between a corner store and a cafe, offering freshly made pizza, breakfast tacos and smoothies alongside packaged snacks, beverages and other convenience items. Dom's, meanwhile, treads even further into restaurant territory: Its two upscale grocery stores feature multiple restaurant stalls serving sushi, burgers, pizza and more; as of last year, about a third of its sales came from foodservice, which is more than the typical grocery store.

Both concepts have grown quickly in recent years. Foxtrot, founded in 2013, has nearly doubled its footprint, to 32, since the beginning of 2022 and now has stores in four markets: Chicago, Washington, D.C., Austin and Dallas. Dom's has two locations in Chicago and plans to have 15 by 2025.

Dom's

A dining area at Dom's Kitchen & Market. | Photo courtesy of Dom's Kitchen & Market

It appears that the two brands will remain largely separate under Outfox but will integrate in spots. Foxtrot favorites like gummies and snacks will be available at Dom's, for instance, while Dom's will bring some of its fresh-meal options to Foxtrot, Foxtrot CEO Liz Williams said in a press release. She noted that both companies share a common mission of "modernizing the way people shop." 

"Merging our two brands will elevate the experience for our customers and move the retail industry forward," she said in a statement. 

Williams will be CEO of the combined company, while Dom's CEO Don Fitzgerald will serve as Dom’s president and COO through a transition period. 

Terms of the deal were not disclosed. It's expected to close during the fourth quarter. 

Diane Adam of Winsight Grocery Business contributed to this story. 

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