Donoghue Refocuses Weigel’s Foodservice

As the Tennessee chain’s foodservice director, Brian Donoghue often succeeds in exceeding expectations. By David Bennett, Senior Editor When you drill down to determine what motivates Brian Donoghue to keep improving the menu at Weigel’s, it can be traced several years ago to the time when he met the woman he would  eventually marry. “When

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Chef Acevedos Sharpens Yesway’s Menu

Chef Carlos Acevedos draws on experience as he prepares to create Yesway’s signature dish and core menu. By Erin Del Conte, Senior Editor Chef Carlos Acevedos joined the Yesway team as culinary innovation and research chef in October, and is set to drive new food initiatives and create unique food concepts for the chain in

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Evaluating Equipment Needs

Convenience stores assessing whether to test new foodservice waters have increasing access to modern equipment options, which can keep them from getting in over their heads. By Howard Riell, Associate Editor As foodservice sales grow across the convenience store landscape, equipment continues to evolve as well, from innovative ovens that allow for greater menu versatility

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Tobacco Alternatives Heat Up

The popularity of pod devices and the growing buzz around heat-not-burn products have primed the e-cig/vaping category for a profitable start to the new year. By Anne Baye Ericksen, Contributing Editor Philip Morris International (PMI)’s recent announcement was surprising: “We’re trying to give up cigarettes” on display in newspaper ads in the United Kingdom. The

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Take the CSD / Humetrics 2018 HR Benchmarking Survey

From recruiting and hiring employees to understanding healthcare costs, the 10th annual HR Benchmarking Survey, sponsored by Snagajob, will help you learn how you stack up against others in the competitive convenience store business. Staffing is one of the biggest investments in the convenience store industry. To help convenience store retailers better manage their workforce and

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C-Stores Enrich Coffee Programs

Anymore convenience retailers are expanding their foodservice programs with beverage options offering more, better and different. By Pat Pape, Contributing Editor Whether it’s a homemade coffee, a beverage shop latte or a convenience-store brew, Americans turn to coffee when they want to get going, and that trend shows no signs of stopping. In fact, about

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Indulging Profits Via Chocolate

Chocolate candy has remained a relative uncomplicated c-store offering, with the same appeal that keeps customers coming back for more. By David Bennett, Senior Editor Most convenience retailers would agree that one of the most popular impulse buys is chocolate candy. Chocolate accounts for about 60% of the $35 billion U.S. confectionery industry—about $22 billion,

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Puffing up Cigar Sales

Innovation in flavors and packaging are helping energize what was formerly a stodgy tobacco category. By Jeffrey Steele, Contributing Editor While some other tobacco product sales have been somewhat flat in the last quarter, convenience store cigar promotions continue to ignite consumer loyalty. Once considered a stodgy segment, the cigar market has become increasingly innovative,

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QuickChek Welcomes New VP of Food Service

Scott Zoeller joins QuickChek from Kings Supermarkets and Balducci’s. QuickChek Corp. has hired Scott Zoeller to the newly-created position of vice president of food service. The Whitehouse Station, N.J.-based family-owned company received  Convenience Store Decisions’  National Convenience Store Chain of the Year award in 2016 and its renowned globally-sourced, locally-roasted fresh coffee was named best

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Strengthening the Backbone of Business

C-stores can improve the aspects of their operations by challenging their successes. By Steve Sandman Another year usually brings about a new list of challenges we create for ourselves. We focus on losing weight, reducing unhealthy behaviors, exercising more, saving money or doing volunteer work—any areas where we perceive to be lacking. The same spirit

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Integrating Hispanic Ingredients, Offerings

Retailers with a strong Hispanic customer base should consider their unique needs and demands. Not all Hispanic customers are the same and understanding key differences can help your bottom line. By Sylvia Klinger, Contributing Editor Projections from the U.S. Bureau of the Census indicate Hispanic population growth will continue, with Hispanics making up roughly 30%

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Family Express Boosts Wage After Tax Package

Starting wage of convenience store employees moved to $11 an hour. Family Express Corp. of Valparaiso, Ind. is elevating its starting wage to $11 per hour, as a consequence of the recent tax package approved by the United States Congress. This will complement its impressive store manager starting annual compensation of $50,000. Family Express pre-empted

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Tax Reform’s Impact on Customers

Because convenience stores bank on America’s disposable income for much of its profits, the effect of tax reform could be significant. By Mark Battersby, Contributing Editor The passage of the massive Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) received a mix of publicity. Even now, some groups claim any tax savings are illusionary, with the middle-class

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Small Steps Can Build Loyalty

As loyalty programs evolve, they’re working to reach customers in a more personalized, consumer-centric way. By Brad Perkins, Contributing Editor A successful loyalty program comes in many forms. It can be a physical card, a mobile app or a credit card associated with a program. It can involve points, free items and special deals. But,

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Expect Gasoline Prices to Increase into Spring, Maybe Summer

Fuel Marketer Intelligence: Supply Chain Dynamics to Retail Fuel Prices By Brian Milne In the wholesale gasoline spot market in southern California, trading moved to the low summer-grade Reid vapor pressure rating on the last day of January, well ahead of the rest of the country, with RVP measuring the release of volatile organic compounds

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Rewards of Redesign

Whether it’s rebranding an acquired site, expanding a merchandising space or simply sprucing up the interior, convenience retailers around the country are investing in remodeling projects to entice today’s customers. By Marilyn Odesser-Torpey, Associate Editor After acquiring 31 PDQ convenience stores last October, Kwik Trip launched an interior to exterior conversion program to be completed

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McDougall Energy To Become First Circle K Franchisee in Ontario

Looks to open 20 Circle K c-stores over the next five years. McDougall Energy Inc. is set to be the first company to take advantage of Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc.’s recently announced new full-service franchise offerings with the Circle K brand in Ontario, Canada. McDougall Energy Inc. signed an agreement with Couche-Tard on 20 sites to

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Fast Phil’s: Speeding Ahead

The North Carolina convenience chain is preparing for 2018 by employing some new retail strategies and sharpening some traditional ones. By David Bennett, Senior Editor The motto, “Whoever said, ‘You can’t have convenience and low prices,’ obviously never shopped at Fast Phil’s” perfectly captures the spirit of this North Carolina convenience retailer. Fast Phil’s, a

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The Annual Expedition— A Look at NRF’s Big Show

Innovation in 2018 will be about retailer & solution provider collaboration, thinking about not only the new, but extending what’s in place today. By Ed Collupy It’s a journey that more convenience/petro retailers and service providers, large and small and from all corners of the U.S., are making each year. Off to the Big Show—the

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Gen Z’s Food Expectations Set the Bar High

Flavor, function and authenticity are key demands from Generation Z. Gen Z is coming of age, and their food preferences are likely to give food marketers some challenges. Generation Z, those born 1997 to present, now represent 27% of the U.S. population, a larger group than Millennials, and although only older Gen Zs are entering

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7-Eleven Closes on Acquisition of 1,030 Sunoco Locations

Marks 7-Eleven’s largest acquisition to date. 7-Eleven’s fleet of stores has just expanded with the closing of its Sunoco acquisition. 7-Eleven has acquired approximately 1,030 Sunoco convenience stores located in 17 states. This acquisition is the largest in 7-Eleven Inc. history and will bring the total number of stores to approximately 9,700 in the U.S.

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Will 2018 Be a More Expensive Year at the Gas Pump?

AAA reveals gas prices grew in the first weeks of January for the first time in four years. On Monday, Jan. 22, the national average price of gas held steady at $2.54, only a one-cent increase from the week before. According to The Energy Information Administration (EIA) while gasoline demand slightly dipped (146,000 b/d), gasoline

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Amazon Go Store Opens in Seattle

New 1,800-square-foot store allows customers to shop and exit without a formal checkout process. The much anticipated debut of Amazon’s new checkout-free store began Monday, Jan. 22 in downtown Seattle. The New York Times detailed the experience, noting customers entering the store are first greeted by a row of gates reminiscent of a subway station,

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Embrace New Opportunities in the New Year

By John Lofstock, editor-in-chief There’s no doubt that 2017 will be regarded as one of the most challenging years ever for the convenience store and petroleum industry. While the economy has strengthened, the stock market rallied and unemployment fell to a 15-year low, the convenience store industry was hit hard by a host of local

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C-Stores Meeting New Fuel Demands

Whether it’s teaming with Tesla to install charging stations or integrating alternative fuel solutions, retailers are part of a changing transportation marketplace. By David Bennett, Senior Editor Figuring out what the future of the U.S. transportation industry holds is clear, depending on which expert you ask. Some analysts insist the internal combustion engine has been

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