Putting the Back-Office to Work

Inside the Numbers: Zarco 66 8 Number of stores. $35 million Total annual systemwide revenue. $20,000 Cost of its new POS/back office system on the front end. $70,000 Cost of its new POS/back office system on the back end. 25% Percentage of store sales from foodservice at the chain’s first store with the new system

Customer Surge in Snacking

The dried meat snacks category overall (including jerky) celebrated a healthy 2009 ringing up more $872.48 million in total dollar sales, up about 1% compared to 2008. Unit sales, however, slipped 3% to 424.43 million for the 52 weeks ended Dec. 27, 2009, according to Information Resources (IRI) . Breaking down the category by segment,

Juices and Teas Bounce Back

Innovation, health and pricing are some of the factors that will help or hinder c-store operators looking to make money with juices and teas in 2010. While juices and teas have struggled over the past few years, 2009 was sort of a renaissance year for the category as both segments experienced sales gains. Overall, for

Expanding the Foodservice Menu

Most convenience store operators don’t offer a whole lot of seafood on their menus, which is usually fine, because convenience store customers aren’t looking for seafood. Logistical issues, product-paucity, quality and food safety concerns are among the fears retailers have about investing in the seafood segment. But given seafood’s health benefits and generally growing popularity

Empowering Foodservice Customers

The latest technologies being used to manage c-store foodservice programs—from touchscreens and POS ordering terminals to digital signage—are allowing marketers to enhance communications and streamline operations. Touchscreens communicate the menu in a very efficient way. This is especially important as chains look to build incremental sales and make more subtle changes like expanding the number

The Coffee Cup Hotel

C-stores are known for providing a myriad of services, but could your stores house customers for the night if the weather turned bad? Coffee Cup Fuel Stops, which operates eight 24-hour locations in the Dakotas and Wyoming, is no stranger to hosting overnight guests at its Summit, S.D. location, where winter storms have been known

The Complete Foodservice Package

As demand for grab-and-go soars, convenience store foodservice managers are looking more than ever for packaging to not only maintain product quality and consistency, but be environmentally friendly and serve as a marketing vehicle. That’s a lot of responsibility to heap on stuff customers casually toss away. “I don’t know that takeout packaging is changing

The 2010 Foodservice Report

Convenience store operators still not convinced foodservice is the future take heed. The National Restaurant Association (NRA) is predicting record-high sales of $580 billion in 2010. Furthermore, of the 70 different retail segments NRA tracks, the group identified convenience stores as the food industry’s “bright spot” when it comes to meeting consumer demand for fresh

Keeping It Fresh

Now that customers are used to finding fresh food at their local c- stores the pressure is on the roller grill to maintain its share of foodservice sales. Thanks to the innovation of retailers and suppliers alike, the roller grill continues to turn out strong sales. Chains are bundling meals with fountain drinks and chips

Breaking into Branding

Branded Check List Retailers planning to add a branded foodservice program should consider the start up cost as well what long-term factors will influence profitability such as additional labor and rising food costs. “You have to decide what’s best for you,” said Sandy Arrasmith of J&H Family Stores. “Take a look at the brand you

Tracking the 2010 Fuel Market

Heading into 2010 there seems to be one constant in the energy markets—be it international, domestic, or local—and that is supplies should not be the issue in the New Year. This means that while demand will ebb and flow as it is want to do over the course of the calendar, barring an unforeseen change,

Managing Employees in Tough Economic Times

In order to support the convenience store industry’s forecasting and planning responsibilities for the new year, Convenience Store Decisions and Kleiman HR collaborated on their second annual human resources survey in order to provide some industry-wide insight into the actions others are taking—or planning to take—in the new year. The 2010 survey results include some

Hiring Mistakes We’ve All Made

1. Not Knowing What You’re Looking For. You can’t hit the target when you don’t know what it looks like. Define what you’re looking for by writing a job analysis that spells out the mental and physical capacities, attitudes, personality and skills you need. 2. Not Thinking Outside the Box.  One overlooked source of candidates

Six R’s and One C Spell Retention

The 2009 EDGE Report published by Robert Half International and CareerBuilder, offers a great overview of the job market today and what it looks like in the near future. The survey was conducted in the second quarter of 2009 and the results are based on the responses of 500 hiring managers and 500 workers age

Honoring the Industry’s Top Suppliers

Nearly 100 convenience store chains representing some 23,000 convenience stores nationwide came together to identify the key suppliers in two dozen in-store categories as part of Convenience Store Decisions’ 2010 Reader’s Choice Awards. This study was designed and conducted by Hagen Marketing Research Inc. in cooperation with CSD.  The primary purpose of the study was

Community Cries Foul Over Canned Canine

Customers are standing behind their favorite convenience store employee, Cody, a chocolate Labrador recently banned from his post at a BP convenience store in Clearwater, Fla., by the state’s Department of Agriculture. Cody had long accompanied store-owner Karim Mansour to the store a couple times a week, except during a short period of time when

Going Green to Reduce Costs

Wanting to help save the world is admirable, but unless a real cost-savings can be realized convenience store operators seem to agree this economy is not the best time to be experimenting with “green” investments. The key to sustainability issues, then, is finding that balance, and that’s where several c-store chains are differentiating themselves. Scott

Nice N Easy Celebrates in Style

In a gala befitting the industry’s oldest and most prestigious retail award, Convenience Store Decisions and more than 150 industry retailers and suppliers honored Nice N Easy Grocery Shoppes as the 2009 Convenience Store Chain of the Year at the Wynn Hotel’s venerable Daniel Boulud restaurant in Las Vegas. Nice N Easy, the Canastota, N.Y.

New Regulations on Tobacco from the FDA

Over the past six months since the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) began wielding its new powers to regulate cigarettes, smokeless and roll-your-own tobacco, the implementation of the law has been anything but smooth. Even though Dr. Lawrence Deyton, the FDA’s new head of the Center for Tobacco Products, announced several times during “Listening

Fighting Credit Card Costs

Is there relief ahead for exorbitant credit card fees? The answer is yes. But first, there’s a fight to be fought. According to NACS in Alexandria, Va., credit card payments have grown from 21% of transactions in 1995 to 49% today, with the trend expected to grow to more than 50% by next year. The

Investing in a Foodservice Future

At first look, boosting business with breakfast sales may seem like a strange idea in these tough economic times as today’s high unemployment means fewer workers stopping for breakfast en route to work. The fact that teenagers and men between the ages of 18-35, who are some of the c-store industry’s most frequent visitors, have

Frontline Reversal of Fortune

EDITOR’S NOTE: CSD AND HR CONSULTANT MEL KLEIMAN WILL PRESENT THE SECOND ANNUAL HR STUDY, FEATURING EMPLOYEE TRENDING DATA AND A STORE EMPLOYEE SALARY OVERVIEW, IN THE JANUARY 2010 ISSUE OF CONVENIENCE STORE DECISIONS. Just a short 18 months ago, most convenience retailers were desperate for frontline workers and, on most days, priority one was to

Controlling Operating Costs

From escalating utility costs and credit card fees to labor and looming PCI deadlines, retailers have their hands full with a host of issues that are impacting their businesses. No issue is as complex and timely as PCI compliance. The stakes in the PCI game are high and, as 2010 approaches, c-store operators need to

Serving the Unbanked

As the economy worsened, the number of adult Americans without bank accounts grew exponentially—and the use of prepaid cash cards climbed to new heights as well. Directo, a company that tracks pay cards to unbanked workers, reported that the recession has sent the number of unbanked Americans soaring to about 50 million, well up from

Grocery Sales Going Up

Signs of the Times Overextended and anxious about the economy, consumers are responding to economic pressures by buying less, borrowing less and paying down credit card debt. The amount Americans owe on credit cards and other consumer loans plunged a record $21.6 billion in July, dimming prospects that the budding economic recovery will extend to

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