Quality menu offerings and superior customer service help grow morning meal sales.
By Erin Del Conte, Senior Editor
Clark’s Pump-N-Shop is a second-generation family-owned company that operates 63 stores in Kentucky, Ohio, West Virginia and Florida. It offers a robust breakfast menu to customers through its proprietary Clark’s Café program as well as through its partnership with Krispy Krunchy Chicken (KKC). CSD caught up with Brian Unrue, director of operations at Clark’s, to learn more about its breakfast options, which are a big part of the chain’s foodservice sales.Brian Unrue
CSD: Tell me about the breakfast program that Clark’s Pump-N-Shop offers.
BU: We offer a grab-n-go breakfast, which is in 17 of our stores, including breakfast tornados and breakfast sausages off of roller grills. The grab-n-go concept also includes AdvancePierre Fast Break biscuit sandwiches.Of course our Clark’s Café and co-brand Krispy Krunchy Chicken (KKC) both do a full-serve breakfast offering. Our first KKC rolled out in Georgetown, Ky. in 2009. We currently operate it in seven of our stores. Clark’s Cafés were started in 2008, and currently are in six of our locations. Clark’s Café is our own concept.
Breakfast is almost 50% of our sales a day. We bake the biscuits, fry eggs to order and have premade fresh biscuits ready for the customer on the go. Bacon, sausage and egg can be made fresh for the customer out of the hot case. Hash browns are a plus and starting next week you will be able to get pancakes. This is a total full-serve concept.
CSD: Breakfast is growing in popularity among customers. What have you done to boost your breakfast daypart as a destination in the last year? Are there any new/upcoming items planned?
BU: Our quality with the home-cooked feel and great customer service are what drive our sales. We are setting up to test pancakes from scratch—not frozen—and a new Tyson product called Crispitos. This is basically a larger-size Tornado that will be sold out of the hot cases.
CSD: How did Clark’s begin building its breakfast program? Do you utilize bundling/cross merchandising with coffee and breakfast items?
BU: When we first rolled out our Clark’s Café and KKC programs we rolled breakfast right out. We bake doughnuts at our store in Catlettsburg, Ky., and deliver daily to seven of our stores; and, this is where bundling comes in, we offer daily a small coffee and a doughnut for $1.29. This draws the customer to the countertop bakery cases set up close to or on the hot bar.
CSD: What are customers demanding when it comes to breakfast?
BU: I believe the customer wants fresh, hot and quality and at an affordable price, and they want it quick.
CSD: Who do you consider your biggest breakfast competitors? How are you standing out against the competition?
BU: We have a few Sheetz Convenience Stores in some of our markets, but our main competitors would be c-stores offering the grab-n-go concept. I believe that our Clark’s Cafes and KKC programs can stand on their own as long as the pricing and quality remain consistent and customer service is always in the forefront.