The NACS Show provides a forum for convenience store operators to learn what it takes to make a foodservice program pay off.
Jim Bressi, director of research and development at Kwik Trip Inc. of La Cross, Wis. and one of three panelists at the Foodservice Innovators Forum held Thursday, Oct. 9, explained to audience members that through trial, error and hard work, c-store operators can develop a quality foodservice program that—over time—can become a central point of sales.
The panel of experts covered some basic considerations of foodservice development, challenges they have all faced and some common sense advice for those companies that wanted to expand beyond roller grill offerings.
Jack Cushman, executive vice president of food services for Nice N Easy Grocery Shoppes Inc., based in Canastota, N.Y., explained that there are integral parts to an effective foodservice program, but doing solid research, following current trends and then implementing your plan.
“You need to look at numbers, you need to look at the statistics, then you need to breathe life into them, Cushman said.
Nice N Easy operates 77 corporate and franchise stores in central New York. The company has introduced the Easy Street Eatery concept in many of its locations.
Earning healthy profits in the end may be the goal, but where to begin is always a question for many.
“You have no foodservice program, start with breakfast,” said Jerry Weiner, vice president of foodservice for York, Pa.-based Rutter’s Farm Stores. “You can do it quick and you can do it cheaper.”
Weiner, a 42-year veteran of the retail industry, has seen trends come and go, but instilling a marketable program that ultimately makes your store a customer destination is the goal. But, it won’t happen without a few miscues, which are acceptable.
“I only have to be right 51% of the time,” said Weiner, who is retiring later this year.