Take spring cleaning to the next level this year, clean up and revamp your foodservice program. Customers today are very picky when it comes to their food. They want it fast, they want it fresh and they want value. There is considerable pressure on c-store retailers to get their foodservice offering right. Any deficiency can drive customers away, perhaps forever. When you are ready to test your innovativeness and expand your menu, pay special attention to the following:
- Stay connected to the pulse of your community. In general, there is a growing demand for healthier options in the form or fresh fruit cups, salads, smoothies, hearty soups, wraps, grilled sandwiches, organic coffee and teas. Move slowly and cautiously when adding new items to your menu, making sure the demand is there.
- Build a better perception of c-store food by offering fresh foods constantly. Make sure to inform your customers with an eye catching sign, “Made Fresh Here” or “Guaranteed Fresh.”
- If you are not preparing the food in front of your customers, package it in clear containers or clear cellophane wrap. Be sure to include a label with the date the food was prepared.
- Convenience stores rely heavily on impulse sales, your foodservice area must be spotless and your staff on top of things at all times. You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression.
- If you are serious about improving your foodservice program, you need to develop a tolerance for waste. You will make more money down the road with happy, repeat customers.
- In revamping your menu, consider offering special combo prices or deals. The placing of the order is simplified and customers are rewarded with perceived instant savings. The retailer is rewarded with add-on sales and thereby increasing the sales amount average.
- The days are gone when customers would buy a food item and wash it down with a generic cup of coffee. Customers today have a much more discerning taste even driving out of their way for a great cup of coffee. Get those customers inside your store by offering unique flavors and espresso-based drinks.