Whole Foods opens restaurants

FAIRFAX Va. The Whole Foods Market grocery-store chain has opened a 65,000-square-foot supermarket here that incorporates five restaurants operated by the retailer, according to local press reports.

An executive for the popular natural-foods chain told The Washington Times that future outlets of the high-volume retailer might also offer an array of foodservice outlets if space permits.

The in-store restaurants here specialize in seafood, Italian food, barbecue, sushi and sandwiches. A wine bar offering 80 selections is also featured. Weekday customers place their orders at a counter and carry their meals to tables. Tableservice is offered on weekends. Each outlet accommodates about 40 people, according to the article.

The just-opened outlet goes beyond most if not all previous Whole Foods units in the breadth of foodservice options it offers. A year-old unit in Lakewood, Colo., features a seafood restaurant and a trattoria, with tableservice available everyday. At least one Dallas store also hosts a full-service eatery. Most branches include a salad bar with hot and cold items, and an array of packaged items that customers can eat on premises in limited seating areas.

Whole Foods consists of about 178 supermarkets in 31 states. Its sales for the fiscal year ended in September were about $5.6 billion.