The National Restaurant Association Show kicked off on Saturday, and operators throughout the foodservice industry, including the convenience-store segment, were quick to share how they’re adapting their operations to fit the ever-changing landscape. Here are three ideas c-store operators shared that are primed to take back to your retail locations.
1. Keep an eye on lunch and dinner
Breakfast is popular at Kum and Go, with over 50% of its sales coming from the morning meal, says VP of Food Innovation Jac Moskalik. When the c-store chain went through a brand overhaul during the pandemic, however, it decided to focus on growing sales in later dayparts.
“We wanted to go after what we considered whitespace, if you will, which is kind of lunchtime and dinner,” she says.
To help pull customers in during the later hours, Kum and Go introduced new menu items such as customizable bowls and sandwiches, as well as a line of grab-and-go burritos.
2. Use your own trend research to vet vendors
To get a sense of what’s trending with customers, GetGo Cafe+ Market has team members visit different food concepts in cities throughout the country. Information gained from these trips is then brought back and used to make purchasing decisions.
“It's a validation point to the things that we're taking in from a lot of our vendors that are giving us information,” says Director of Culinary Innovation Farley Kaiser. “Are we seeing that in those cities? Does it make sense and when will it make sense for our market?”
3. Plan for every scenario
Like the rest of the foodservice industry, convenience stores are not immune to the current labor and supply chain challenges. To help new concepts debut smoothly, Kaiser says she now plans out how the concepts will run depending on different scenarios, such as how many staff members will be available at the store and what products may be in stock, before the concept’s official launch.