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Hola to Ethnic Breakfasts

Handheld, ethnic breakfast offerings, such as tacos, tortillas, empanadas and kolaches, are hot stuff everywhere from quick-service restaurants to convenience stores around the country. Retailers explain how they are spicing up their breakfast sales with these ethnic edibles. By Marilyn Odesser-Torpey, Associate Editor Mexican in the morning is now mainstream, said Aaron Noveshen, founder and

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Make Sure You’re Secure

With credit card data hackers becoming increasingly innovative and sophisticated in their methods, it’s more important than ever for retailers to comply with current security standards set by the PCI Security Standards Council. By Marilyn Odesser-Torpey, Associate Editor Target, Supervalu, UPS, PF Chang’s and, most recently, Home Depot and even Dairy Queen—American retailers are being victimized

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Profiting With Poultry

C-store operators who put out a good quality chicken product might see their foodservice business fly higher. By Marilyn Odesser-Torpey, Associate Editor At the Arthur, Ill. location of Jack Flash Convenience Stores, chicken accounts for about 60% of foodservice sales, said John Herrmann, district supervisor for the 11-unit, Effingham, Ill.-based chain. The store also offers

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Fresh is Best

By emphasizing quality, variety and convenience, retailers have the opportunity to convince consumers to purchase more sandwiches rather than making them at home. By Marilyn Odesser-Torpey, Associate Editor When the quick-service provider Pret A Manger first introduced prepackaged sandwiches in its stores 10 years ago, the first thing the company had to do was communicate

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Cup O’ Competition

A quality coffee program and an array of condiments can differentiate your brew offering from the rest of the pack. By Marilyn Odesser-Torpey, Associate Editor Last year, 7.8 billion cups of coffee were served by commercial restaurants, the vast majority through fast-food channels, according to NPD Group market research firm. Of those cups, 4.7 billion

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Connecting With Coffee Customers Gets Personal

While some c-stores are adding barista-staffed bars to compete in the coffee arena, most are finding simpler ways to make brew buying a more personalized experience for their customers. By Marilyn Odesser-Torpey, Associate Editor. With about 11,000 chain and 14,000 independent cafes in the U.S., according to the Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA), consumers

The multi contact grill recently introduced by Hatco comes with interchangeable plates, including grooved plates to cook
panini and flat plates for cooking a variety of other foods.

Finding the Right Foodservice Gear Helps

Choosing the best equipment can be the difference between a robust foodservice program and a bland one. By Marilyn Odesser-Torpey, Associate Editor A piece of equipment doesn’t have to be brand new to be considered the most valuable player in a foodservice operation. Take the Lincoln impinger ovens that Fremont, Ohio-based FriendShip Food Stores has

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Courting Candy Customers

The sweet news is that sour sells in the non-chocolate confections category. By Marilyn Odesser-Torpey, Associate Editor Overall sales growth for non-chocolate confections topped $10 billion last year, a 3.6% increase over the year before, according to the National Confectioners Association (NCA). Sales per capita grew from the year prior by 1.9% to $32.44 per

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Designing a Foodservice Plan

Both proprietary and established-brand foodservice have advantages and challenges. Retailers tell Convenience Store Decisions which they chose and why. By Marilyn Odesser-Torpey, Associate Editor PS Food Marts had its own proprietary deli program about 20 years ago. They had a great concept and products, but marketing an unknown brand was tough, said Ed Heath, vice

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Winning with a Quality Deli

Giving customers more than they expect is key in building foodservice sales. By Marilyn Odesser-Torpey, Associate Editor Folks in New York don’t take their deli lightly. So when Harry Singh, president and CEO of Bolla Oil Corp., decided to pilot a “gourmet” deli program in one of his company’s Brooklyn Bolla Market convenience stores in

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Crime Prevention 101

Clear visuals, strict till limits and great customer service are keys to deterring convenience store robberies. Marilyn Odesser-Torpey, Associate Editor Robbery occurs less often than some other crimes, but the potential for loss, injury and death is much greater during a single robbery incident, according to the convenience store security guidelines for owners and managers

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Roller Grill Still Real

Made-to-order may be the current darling of a growing number of c-stores, but a well-run roller grill program is still central to successful fresh foodservice. By Marilyn Odesser-Torpey, Associate Editor They smell it. They see it. They want it. For most convenience stores, the roller grill is the customers’ first introduction to the store’s fresh

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Poultry Consumption Soars

With commodity prices of beef and other non-poultry proteins on the rise and consumers wanting healthful choices and variety, chicken continues to grow as a foodservice favorite among c-store operators and their customers. By Marilyn Odesser-Torpey, Associate Editor 7-Eleven announced in April that it was beefing up its chicken offerings with the addition of lightly-

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Battle for Breakfast Heats Up

The competition for the $46.5 billion breakfast business is at a fever pitch with retail giants from McDonald’s and Taco Bell to Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts rolling out sandwich interpretations to steal new morning business. By Marilyn Odesser-Torpey, Associate Editor Quick-service restaurants are hitting all of today’s consumers’ hot buttons with their latest breakfast offerings.

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The Prepaid Category Continues to Evolve

Whether open and closed loop prepaid cards are a significant profit generator or just an important convenience customers expect to find in their c-store, virtual gift cards are changing the category for retailers. By Marilyn Odesser-Torpey, Associate Editor The prepaid category is changing. Of the amount of gift cards sold in terms of dollars loaded,

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Equipped for Foodservice Success

Green, clean and seen are three of the biggest innovations when it comes to preparing fresh foods fast and merchandising them to capture shoppers’ attention wherever they are in the store. By Marilyn Odesser-Torpey, Associate Editor Gas pumps Today are far from the one-dimensional fuel systems used in 1955. So why do so many convenience

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Equipped for Foodservice Success

After the recession-fueled hesitancy of the last couple of years, some retailers are once again investing in new foodservice equipment to add new items, boost sales of existing ones and streamline operations. By Marilyn Odesser-Torpey, Associate Editor When FriendShip Food Stores, based in Fremont, Ohio, decided to add frozen yogurt to the foodservice offerings at

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Building a Bakery Business

Research shows that breakfast sales are on the rise and that means sales can be too for retailers who have solid bakery products and programs in place. By Marilyn Odesser-Torpey, Associate Editor Packaged Facts research firm estimated that restaurant breakfast sales reached $47 billion in 2013, up 5% from 2012. And the company predicted that

Pushing the Limits of Foodservice

Sandwiches are usually the first taste consumers get of your foodservice program, so it had better be love at first bite. By Marilyn Odesser-Torpey, Associate Editor. It was a true David and Goliath moment when Altoona-Pa.-based Sheetz, with 437 locations in six states, recently blocked a bid by Subway, the world’s largest fast food chain

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Winning the Fresh Foodservice Battle

Busy Americans are increasingly going the grab-and-go route for lunch and dinner solutions. But even the most time-starved consumers have definite standards about what foods they will choose. By Marilyn Odesser-Torpey, Associate Editor. Grab and go is a close to $13 million category, with everyone from quick-service restaurants to pharmacies competing for share of stomach

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Managing Your Workforce

Labor scheduling can be a complex, time-consuming and tedious task, but if it’s not done right it can be costly, in terms of wasted money and lost customers. By Marilyn Odesser-Torpey, Associate Editor. Managing labor hours is just one of a handful challenges human resources managers face every day and St. Joe Petroleum is no

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Saving Energy Saves Money

Lighting accounts for 20-50% of electricity consumption, reported the Small Business Administration (SBA). And while green initiatives might cost more up front, retailers are finding that they can result in some impressive savings. By Marilyn Odesser-Torpey, Associate Editor. Due to continually improving equipment, lighting usually provides the highest return-on-investment of major upgrades, the SBA explained.

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Creating a Rewarding Retail Experience

Paper punch cards are a thing of the past. Today’s loyalty programs incorporate a variety of innovative strategies to persuade customers to spend more time—and money—in your stores. By Marilyn Odesser-Torpey, Associate Editor. Sometimes you think you know what your customers want, but you really don’t know until you ask…and listen. That’s what Salt Lake

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Creating Foodservice Theatre

With fresh foodservice taking center stage at many c-stores, packaging is playing an increasingly important role in creating an appetizing presentation. By Marilyn Odesser-Torpey, Associate Editor. In foodservice, packaging used to be an afterthought, simply a vehicle to get the product from here to there. However, today’s food packaging does more than just hold product.

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A Pleasing Pizza Experience

A full 41% of respondents in a recent survey said they now eat pizza at least once a week, up from 26% two years ago, making pizza a $33.5-billion business, according to foodservice research firm Technomic. By Marilyn Odesser-Torpey, Associate Editor. Pizza is such a popular item at Casey’s General Store that, in August, the

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