By Marilyn Odesser-Torpey, Associate Editor
C-store retailers tend to either love or hate the roller grill. Some feel it helps the overall perception of foodservice, while other feels it hurts it. But for those providing roller grill food offerings, it’s important to commit 100% to the cleanliness, appearance and overall management of the segment.
Convenience store operators should also keep in mind that the roller grill also has its own fan following.
“It is and will continue to be a critical component in convenience store foodservice success,” said Tim Powell, a two-decade research veteran, much of it in the foodservice arena, who is principal of Think Marketing consulting firm.
Foodservice-savvy stores like Rutter’s Farm Stores make the roller grill one of its segment stars by merchandising it on attractive (and energy-saving – a bonus!) roller grills. All operators should value their roller grill customers because they generally spend more, visit more often, rate convenience stores higher, are more loyal and are more concerned about the quality, visual appeal and temperature of the food than average customers, Powell explained.
“Moreover, roller grill customers are more likely to purchase items as part of a combo meal or a ‘two-for-one’ deal, resulting in a higher ring and return visits,” he said.
Today, operators should have no problem finding high quality—even premium—products to make their roller grill a destination throughout the day and evening, Powell said. Some examples of outstanding roller grill products he mentioned were 100% beef hot dogs, Johnsonville bratwursts, Roller Bites and Ruiz Foods Tornados. He also suggested that operators expand their roller grill offerings to include more breakfast items.
For more on how to achieve roller grill success, check out CSD’s upcoming August issue.