The COVID-19 pandemic has forever changed the way we shop. In all retail environments, consumers and employees have developed new and lasting expectations regarding safety. It’s essential for retailers to provide clear communication about their commitment to safe shopping experiences.
FriendShip Kitchen, the retail division of Fremont-based Beck Suppliers, is the first retailer in the U.S. to be awarded Safe Shop Assured certification.
From their humble beginnings in 1950, Beck Suppliers have been guided by Virgil Beck’s founding commitment to serve the community. FriendShip Kitchen is today one of Ohio’s largest family-owned convenience store chains, well known for their FriendShip Famous Chicken and a tradition of treating customers like guests in their own home. Their best-in-class stores serve communities with freshly-prepared food, friendly service and a strong commitment to customer and employee safety.
“Our 70-year-old, fourth-generation family-owned company has always put safety first,” said Greg Ehrlich, president of FriendShip Kitchen. “We’re committed to the safety of our employees, our customers, and our neighbors. We are honored to be the first retailer in the United States to be certified as Safe Shop Assured. We look forward to having other retailers around the country join us. Now, more than ever, employees and customers need to know which companies maintain high health and safety standards.”
Safe Shop Assured certification may be earned by retailers who satisfy a nine-point checklist of essential safety measures. At FriendShip Kitchen, Safe Shop will be showcased through branded signage, floor distancing stickers, hand sanitizer stations, and more. Each touchpoint serves as a signal of the company’s commitment to implementing and maintaining high standards.
“FriendShip Kitchen is a natural fit for our certification program” said Frank Beard, director of Safe Shop. “They belong to a certain class of convenience retailers that are constantly innovating and raising the bar for the entire industry. They take a lot of pride in their business, and it shows. I’m proud to see Safe Shop branding at their stores, and it will help customers feel better about their decision to shop there.”
Safe Shop is a joint venture between Paragon Solutions and WTWH Media, the publisher of CStore Decisions. The strategy and development of the program is informed by a multi-generational and diverse independent board of retailers, suppliers, and retail experts. Ongoing independent inspection and verification protects the integrity of the program by ensuring compliance from participating retailers.