Supermarket operator Waitrose has revealed that it is interested in launching standalone cafés, if a rollout of in-store sites proves successful. Speaking at the British Retail Consortium’s annual conference yesterday, managing director Mark Price said the company hoped to install café in up to a third of its current estate by the end of 2011. On rolling out standalone sites, Price said: “We’ve got no plans at the moment, but our hope is that if we can really make cafes sing in our shops, which it’s starting to, then there should be no reason why you can’t break it out of the shops and have t as a standalone.” The retailer, which is part of the unique John Lewis partnership, has often expressed its desire to move into the foodservice sector. Talking at M&C Report’s restaurant conference at the end of 2009, price said: “We believe we will move into the space more in the next 10 years. We like the margins in the industry and we can bring the advantage of our distinct model to the sector. Supermarkets have got to change how they use the physical space that they have and a way they can use that is by expanding their foodservice offer.” Last year, it entered talks to acquire sandwich and coffee shop chain Eat, which was eventually brought in January by private equity group Lyceum. Earlier this year, the supermarket operator launched the trial of its Little Waitrose sub brand into the convenience store sector. The launch came just weeks after supermarket rival Sainsbury’s launched its standalone food-to-go concept, Fresh Kitchen in London.