Convenience store foodservice has long been focused on the cold-food menu – mostly grab and go items, perfect for the consumer on the run. And while the cold-menu items haven’t lost their popularity with busy Americans, the hot food menus are most definitely the next big thing for cstore foodservice.
CSP’s annual Foodservice Handbook is out and revealing a lot about the hot food segment of cstore foodservice. Today we’ll talk about some of the biggest trends that are shaking up the industry, plus some strategy for increasing your share of the cstore foodservice pie!
By the Numbers
Would it surprise you to hear that, in a recent Technomic study on cstore foodservice, nearly nine out of ten people said they bought hot foods at convenience stores? Indeed, 88% of survey participants are eating hot foods and also reported visiting cstores frequently – at least once a week. This is great news for cstores struggling to find their niche: if you’ve got people coming in weekly, willing to buy hot food, which are typically very high profit margin items, then you’ve got a solid business strategy!
If you’re a frequent blog reader, it should be no surprise to you that the morning daypart is having the most success in the foodservice arena. Breakfast has been the top performer for at least the last three years, if not longer.
According to the Foodservice Handbook – the hot food item folks are most likely to buy is a breakfast sandwich, with 51% of participants agreeing that they were willing to purchase breakfast occasionally. Next in popularity falls to the lunch/dinner/snack category, with pizza being the next most popular response. Followed by hot sandwiches, chicken strips and then French fries, it’s clear to see, consumers are hungry for standard fare!
Take it and Run
So how do you take this data and turn it into sales for your business? If you’re complete new to the foodservice arena, I highly recommend starting with our white paper on adding foodservice to your cstore. It covers all of the areas that you’ll need to know for expanding into that segment. If you’ve already got one foot in the foodservice door, perhaps you’re already running the cold food game, now is the time to expand your equipment line and get into hot foods.
With the addition of a deep fryer and a high speed oven, you can transform your business into a foodservice powerhouse – with very minimal effort. Our deep fryer, AutoFry, is completely ventless and fully automated, which means it’s incredibly easy and safe to operate. Little training is required for employees to be able to start cranking out fan favorites, like chicken, fries and even hash browns! Take it a step further with MultiChef, our high speed oven, and you’ve got a powerful foodservice team behind you.
With a couple new pieces of equipment, especially easy to use equipment like AutoFry and MultiChef, you can be turning food into dollars in no time. With our equipment we like to say, plug it in and start counting your profits, and in the cstore foodservice arena, you’ll start seeing profits almost instantly!
One big mistake a cstore can make is to ignore foodservice as a potential profit maker. The numbers are in and the signs are all saying that NOW is the time to really shine. Don’t let them leave at the pump! Expand your offerings to a few foodservice items and see how easy it can be to really drive sales. Your customers will have more reasons to return and you’ll enjoy seeing more dollars come through your doors!