in the q

Anchored by Starbucks and other powerful food brands, Canadian Tire’s ’Q’ concept could have a dramatic effect on the retailing landscape north of the border. Canadian Tire Petroleum has sold gasoline since 1958, but even the company’s president will admit that its traditional convenience store offer has been less than imaginative—until recently. Canadian Tire Petroleum’s

keep on truckin

Carrying on a local college tradition has given New York retailer Albert Smith new menu items and a new generation of grateful customers. In the 28 years Albert Smith has operated the Shortstop Deli (Ithaca, NY), he has never gotten a hug from a customer. Sure, his patrons appreciate that the coffee is fresh, that

fine dining at the circle k

A critic’s mock cooking competition paints convenience stores in a slightly more refined light. (Note the use of the word slightly.) Are the words “convenience store” and “gourmet foods” mutually exclusive? With a little help, according to one non-scientific “study,” virtually any convenience store can supply the goods for a delightful night of fine dining.

firstclass foodie

Trend-setting fuel marketer Bill Knight serves up ’chef-crafted meals to go’ at his amazing NexStore MarketPlace in one of South Florida’s most affluent locales. The birds living in the lush foliage adorning the NexStore MarketPlace in South Florida’s affluent Boca Raton community couldn’t have it much better. Thrushes and mockingbirds look happy and well fed,

a gift horse

Petro Stopping Centers’ new prepaid card programs diversify the chain’s product mix. They also boost sales in the store, at the pump and in the dining room. The rapid transformation of the telecommunications superhighway hasn’t come without its share of potholes, detours and a few roadkill carcasses. Just five years ago, after all, longdistance cards

the phd of pizza

Nice N Easy’s foodservice expert took its programs to the next level by applying a more scholarly approach. By Kate Quackenbush, Associate Editor Jack Cushman has made foodservice the focus of his education and career—and pizza is his forte. He received his Ph.D. from Kansas State University in Hotel, Restaurant, Institutional Foodservice and Dietetics. He

dream grill

The roller grill has evolved. Today’s versatile roller grills cook up and merchandise a lot more than just hot dogs. Roller grills are a great way to prepare and merchandise a growing number of foods in convenience stores. In fact, operators are finding that roller grills are much more versatile than once thought. Not long

cleaning up at the coffee bar

A new addition to 7-Eleven’s coffee bar targets the road warrior: spill-protection wipes. There’s nothing more frustrating for a “road warrior” than to stain a freshly-pressed shirt or suit coat with a splash of hot coffee. And 7-Eleven Inc. knows it. The retailer that began offering hot-to-go coffee in convenience stores almost 40 years ago

empowered

QSR Pal’s Sudden Service expects and gets outstanding results from a well-trained workforce ofstrategic thinkers. by Dave Scopinich, Contributing Editor Pal’s Facts Pal’s has lost just four general managers since 1981—the last one left in 2000 to buy his own restaurant. Pal’s President and CEO Thom Crosby calls today’s young workers "part of the best

upgrading the bean

C-store retailers expect enhancements to the coffee bar new blends, cups and designs—to foster dramatic growth. Less than six months ago, the coffee presentation at Heritage’s Dairy Stores looked pretty basic. It took up 8 ft. to 10 ft. of space, featuring just a few brewers selling dark roast, decaf and a proprietary blend. Today,

is krispy kremed

Key changes in the rungs of Krispy Kreme’s corporate ladder raise both optimism and doubt regarding the once-infallible brand’s long-term prospects for the c-store channel. For one-time Wall Street darling Krispy Kreme Doughnuts Inc., the dough may yet rise again. The board of directors for the North Carolina-based donut maker, which had been making headlines

nice n easys new face

A bold new store image helps Nice N Easy in its quest to become the ’Wegmans of convenience retailing.’ Nice N Easy Grocery Shoppes has no fear of going out on a limb. In the face of dwindling cigarette sales—the chain has seen its carton sales cut in half over the past five years due

staying fresh

New technology helps retailers focus on freshness and maintain the power of their brands. It wasn’t long ago that convenience stores were stuffed with nothing but pre-packaged foods with a long shelf life. That’s not the case today, as consumers have dictated what matters most: convenient products with freshness and quality. That, after all, is

hot doggin

Hot dogs have long been a staple on convenience store roller grills, but new items help spice up sales. For as long as Jeff Beal can remember, foodservice has always set apart Johnny Quik Food Stores, Inc. (Fresno, CA). Eight years ago the 20-store chain tried its first Subway, which has yielded three more franchises

meat marketing

In search of a truly unique foodservice offering, NOCO Express found a hometown partnership that really ’beefed up’ store sales. There’s a delicacy that originated in Buffalo, NY, called a Roast Beef on Weck sandwich. It’s a hot roast beef sandwich where the meat is aged three to four weeks in a cooler and hand-carved

pod people

The hot dispensed beverage category represents 32.8% of all food sales in the convenience channel

wawa gets booked

Wawa Inc. (Wawa, PA), which today operates more than 550 convenience stores in five states, is the subject of a new book from Arcadia Publishing (888-313-2665; www.arcadiapublishing.com). The book spans parts of three centuries in detailing Wawa's evolution, beginning with its origins in the early 1800s as a manufacturer of cast-iron water pipes and stove

hot stuff for 2005

Next month rings in a new year, bringing with it plenty of never-before-seen product innovations. The low-carb fad that swept the U.S. market in 2004 sparked the launches of more than 3,100 new food and beverage items through late November. But the trend has begun to wind down, leaving the door open to new developments

foodservice

Coffee gets its legs Adding disposable beverage transports to the lineup can give a jolt to the industry's leading gross profit margin category—hot dispensed beverages— while reinforcing a retailer's brand image. Such bulk transports, pioneered by vendors like LBP Manufacturing (www.lbpmfg.com), enable customers to take multiple cups of coffee—10 to 12 per fill-up—on the move,

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