Getting A Bigger Piece of the Foodservice Pie

Quality, price point and flexibility continue to drive customer interest in pizza. By Howard Riell, Associate Editor. Americans are into upscale, premium and gourmet everything these days. So why would anyone expect pizza to be any different? The question is, “Can your pizza program measure up?” From exotic toppings to a variety of doughs, c-store

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Turning a Foodservice Profit

The stagnant economy and hefty cigarette taxes have more c-store chains adding extra roller grill items to provide a greater array of hot food options at a value price. By Howard Riell, Associate Editor. Yes, the number of food items that can be prepared on roller grills—hot dogs, corn dogs, taquitos, stuffed breadsticks, kielbasa, grilled

Seizing Smokeless Opportunities

The tobacco customer is changing, along with consumers’ product options, which is driving  optimism for a strong 2011. By Pat Pape, Contributing Editor. Eric Choncko is a 31-year-old locomotive engineer living in North Texas. He also is a regular snuff user and a core convenience store customer. He chose that tobacco product over cigarettes several

Energy Powers Beverage Sales

The convenience of shots and the widespread  availability in c-stores have spurred the category’s success. By: Joe Bush, Contributing Editor. Energy shots remain the hottest product in the energy beverage sector. The emergence of the shot market was so fast that the products seemingly came out of nowhere, at a time when the typically strong

Crafting a Beer Strategy

Microbrew sales are growing at a strong clip, while wine and spirits are also poised for a strong 2011. by: Joe Bush, Contributing Editor The near-term future of wine and craft beer sales in convenience stores involves value, flavor and products geared toward specific ethnic groups. The Brewer Association reports that while overall beer sales

Effectively Managing the Supply Chain

Pressure to reduce costs means that wholesalers and distributors need to work with convenience store retailers to trim the fat from the industry’s distribution infrastructure. by, John Lofstock, Editor Cutting supply chain costs remains a challenge for convenience store chains large and small—one that, sooner or later, they must confront. Dealing with primary wholesalers, multiple

Scoring Sales with Superior Sanitation

While a tidy restroom is crucial, c-store cleanliness starts with a well-kept forecourt, a quality store design and a dedicated staff that understands your expectations. by, Erin Rigik, associate editor Think your c-store and restrooms are clean enough? You might want to triple check your sanitation standards, especially if your chain is pushing foodservice. According

Courting Car Wash Customers

Strong new car sales are likely to spur more car wash trips, giving operators an opportunity to garner a strong repeat business in 2011. by, Erin Rigik, associate editor Buoyed by the likelihood of tax cut extensions and increased consumer confidence, auto sales climbed in December—great news for car wash operators as new automobile owners

Chandler Oil Gets an Upscale Facelift

David Miller renovates his flagship Chevron store in 45 days. He is expecting a 20% sales lift from his investment. When David Miller, president of Chandler Oil Chevron, decided to remodel his 3,000–square-foot Chandler, Ariz., store last year, he knew it was crucial to his customers, as well as to his business, that he keep

The 2011 Foodservice Report

Convenience store retailers posted strong across-the-board sales gains in 2010 and expressed optimism for an even more robust 2011. Thanks to an increasingly busy lifestyle, today’s convenience store customers regard food prepared away from home as a necessity, and the industry’s top-quartile retailers have benefited handsomely from meeting the growing demand for fresh foods. For

Connecting with the Community

For convenience store operators, being a good corporate citizen isn’t something they can take lightly. In fact giving back to the community should be considered the cost of doing business, and it should be part of a company’s long-term mission. Giving back is something Folk Oil Co. takes seriously. This fall, the company’s PS Food

A Culture of Convenience

Superior service, loyal employees and an upscale retail offering define the Thorntons brand. [callout title=At a Glance:  Thorntons Inc.] Thorntons was founded in 1971 by James Thornton in Louisville, Ky. His son, Matt Thornton, was named president and CEO of the 165-store chain in 2001, while James remains chairman of the family business. Headquarters: Louisville,

Kangaroo Express Garners World Record

The Pantry Inc. partnered with Oak Grove Elementary in Cary, N.C. last month, to help students break a Guinness World Record for the “Most People Sport Stacking at Multiple Locations in One Day.” In all, more than 314,000 sport stackers participated in the Nov. 18 event across the globe. The Southeastern convenience store chain, with

Driving New Business in a Competitive Market

Location, appearance and service are among the most important factors to consider when building and operating new convenience stores, but operators are urged to also focus on the impact of social media. Picking the right location for a new store can ensure business volume. Having the right appearance—or street appeal—may determine whether the majority of

Chicken Fuels Foodservice Flexibility

Whether it’s grilled, baked or fried, poultry meal solutions are available in a variety of dishes that are helping operators create a diverse menu. Chicken has a “health HALO,” in the foodservice industry’s parlance, meaning consumers perceive it to be a healthy alternative to burgers and pizza. Bonnie Riggs, restaurant industry analyst for The NPD

Roller Grills Growing Up

Thanks to a surge of new products focused on ethnic diversity, the roller grill is hotter than ever before. There has been so much emphasis on fresh, made-to-order food and upscale coffee programs in the convenience store industry it’s easy to forget the tried-and-true roller grill. Sometimes implicated as part of the industry’s food-image problem—burned

Defend Your Hot Beverage Business

Tips for protecting sales and profits in today’s climate. Intensifying competition for the morning daypart and escalating commodity costs for coffee drinks have forced convenience retailers to make trade-offs between pricing and profits. This is no small issue as hot dispensed beverages are strategically vital to a retailer’s morning business segment and fresh foods program.

Attacking Shrink from All Angles

Loss prevention in retail is becoming a more challenging task as the economy stumbles along. In order to keep costs down it is important to put measures into place that will deter thieves. In a tough economy, every dollar counts. But loss prevention is often overlooked by convenience stores, even when following through on upholding

Effectively Managing Scan Data

Before executives at The Spinx Co. roll out a sales promotion to their 75-plus convenience stores in the Carolinas, they carefully review current point-of-sale (POS) sales data. “We’re able to pull all sorts of data by store, by category and by items,” said Bryan Zeiger, category manager for Spinx, who relies on the reports when

Emerging Retail Trends

Convenience store owners should expect to embrace new technology and a fresh set of rules for communicating with today’s consumers as 2011 approaches. A  year that witnessed a whirlwind of technological advancements proved that retail is all about change. The best retailers are embracing that change and  diversifying their technology investments in order to stay

Walgreens To Add Charging Stations

Drug store retailer Walgreens and energy company NRG Energy have teamed to deliver the first privately-funded electric vehicle network in the U.S., Energyefficiencynews.com reported. Some 18 eVgosm high-powered rapid charging stations are scheduled to be rolled out at Walgreens stores across Houston, Texas, starting in February. “Our neighborhood stores will be a great and convenient

Gasoline at $3 Gallon for the Holidays

By Brian L. Milne, Refined Fuels Editor, Telvent DTN Wholesale gasoline prices were mixed in metropolitan markets across the U.S. for the week ending Monday (12/20), easing along the West Coast while advancing along the East Coast and in Midwest markets. The weekly price changes were limited however, likely keeping the US average for regular

Legacy Leadership

  At a Glance: Rutter’s Farm Stores Rutter’s enjoys a long, proud history tracing its roots in Central Pennsylvania all the way back to 1747. The company broke ground on its first convenience store in 1967 and today retails more than 100 million gallons of fuel annually throughout Pennsylvania’s York, Lancaster, Adams, Cumberland, Dauphin and

The Fight for Interchange Reform Continues

The long and winding road to controlling credit card fees took yet another turn on Oct. 12, 2010, when TCF National Bank, a subsidiary of TCF Financial Corp., filed a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the Durbin Amendment, which was included in the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Financial Protection Act of 2010, also known

Chevron Fuels Schools Promotion

During the month of September, Chevron’s Fuel Your School promotion, with the help of California drivers, raised $858,445 for schools in Alameda and Contra Costa counties. To participate, customers simply had to fill up their gas tanks at participating Chevron stations in Alameda or Contra Costa between Sept. 1 and Sept. 30. Chevron then donated

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