As we wrap up our last day at NACS, there is one thing we one thing we continue to hear from industry experts and convenience store owners alike: foodservice is no longer optional for cstores. With today's hyper competitive market it seems foodservice in convenience stores is already a differentiator and huge profit driver for stores already taking advantage of it. And for shops that are not? Experts say it's time to hop on the foodservice train or be left behind at the station. Additionally, it's not enough to just plug in a roller grill and call yourself foodservice operational -- consumers want fresh food in a convenient way. This means you need a clear strategy for implementing a more thorough and cohesive foodservice plan. Lucky for you, we've already tackled this subject a few times this year, so lets recap and highlight some of our favorite resources for adding and succeeding at foodservice in convenience stores.
Starting from scratch?
If you're completely unfamiliar with the way foodservice works, have no fear -- we've got a guide for that. Whether your starting from scratch or have one foot already in the foodservice door, our whitepaper, Offering More than Convenience is an all inclusive foodservice guide for cstore operators. We'll walk you through the benefits, potential challenges and roadblocks, menu building, equipment sourcing and more, all within this free whitepaper.Get yours here!
Want an expert opinion?
We had the opportunity to learn from one of the cstore foodservice greats: Jerry Wiener. Last month at the Convenience Store Foodservice Exchange, had the opportunity to chat with him and catch his presentation to get real insights to the growing trends and problems the convenience store realm faces. In case you're not familiar, among his other accomplishments, Wiener turned the 60-store Rutter’s convenience store chain into a brand recognized right alongside the foodservice behemoths of the industry. He's a rock star for foodservice in convenience stores and knows how to turn heads. Check out what we learned from him at the show here.
Think you can skip out on foodservice?
It's a common belief that while statistics show that foodservice is one of the most profitable segments, a shop can get away with not having food. But the reality is that this foodservice trend isn't going anywhere. In fact it's growing at an insane pace. If you're unsure about taking the leap, watch this short video that highlights the benefits and potential profits that can be derived from adding foodservice to your lineup. Watch the video here!
Looking for next steps?
We applaud the businesses already harnessing the power of foodservice in convenience stores, but they may be wondering, what next? Where do we go from here? If your already managing a foodservice program at your convenience store, the next step is to drive more profits. How do you do that? Increased customer frequency. Increasing convenience store frequency is imperative if you’re focused on raising profits. On average, frequent shoppers only account for 15% of a business’s customer base, but that 15% accounts for at least 1/3 of all your revenue. If those numbers sound appealing to you, check out our guide for increasing convenience store frequency here.
What about Breakfast?
You've probably heard by now, that breakfast is the easiest and most profitable day part to focus on for convenience stores. Over 1/3 of all Americans eat breakfast away from home, which means it should also be an important strategy in your foodservice plan. With that in mind, we've created a quick video to show you how you can make the most of your morning hours and serve more people in less time, because afterall, higher throughput = more dollars. Check out our short video here!
What about the trends?
One of the biggest trends in foodservice across the board, but especially at cstores is snacking. Consumers want to snack and snack often - with busy lifestyles and a trend towards healthier alternatives, more and more Americans are turning to snacks instead of full meals. How does a convenience store take advantage of this? A simple strategy for driving snackers to your food center is all you need and we suggest the FORCE method. FORCE stands offering a Fresh, Organized, Range of foods in a Clean, Efficient environment. Learn all about FORCE here.