Thomas Magennis, manager of Mulkerns Eurospar in Newry, says his hot food to go offering is keeping the store very busy.

”Hot food is huge at the moment and easily the fastest growing section in store. We now offer breakfast, lunch and dinner which we brand as our “supper club”. We like to change the whole look of the hot food counter with black panels for the dinner-time offer just to make it clear that it’s not just left over from lunch time. This has proven to be a real success with people coming in for a great value dinner on their way home from work.

“Our meals range from £4.95 to our more premium options at £6.95 which can be things such as a steak sandwich.

”We also have a whole ready meal range which the chefs make in store, including soups, stews, pizzas, and all sort of heat and eat options. These are doing so well that we are looking to increase our refrigerator space for additions to the range.

“The deli requires three full-time chefs and a team of kitchen staff so there’s a huge cost there but we use a programme called CaterCost, a menu management software system, which works out margins to the exact per cent. We weigh every meal and work out exactly what margin we are getting on it.”