The roller grill has many advantages for convenience stores, not the least of which is its ability to satisfy hungry customers crunched for time, without significant upkeep or labor required, compared with made-to-order foodservice.
Still, like all offers, it can easily become stale if it’s not regularly updated and given proper consideration.
It may seem obvious, but it can’t be overstated that a roller grill must be well-kept, i.e. well-stocked and spotless. While this is always a good rule of thumb, post-pandemic especially, customers will be quick to judge even the slightest of indiscretions when it comes to cleanliness and safety.
The next step is to have a solid offer — whatever that means for your store. The right roller grill offer may depend on your location and the customers who visit. For example, a more traditional offer may perform better in a rural market, while a more international offer could do well in an urban store. Only time — and data — will tell.
These days, in general, consumers are looking for increased variety. Consider stocking a range of toppings and sauces and trying out limited-time offers (LTOs) to keep the menu fresh and exciting. And two-for-one deals or other promotions — like National Hot Dog Day deals, for example — not only add value for the customer but give them a chance to something on the roller grill for a great price.
So, once you have a clean store and a solid offer, what are some ways to better market their roller grill to consumers?
Communication is key here; don’t overestimate the customer’s awareness of your offer, whatever it is. Be sure to clearly communicate anything that makes your roller grill offer stand out.
Traditional signage is very important, of course, both in-store and at the pump. But these days, it’s also vital to have an online presence, starting with a clean, well-designed, easy-to-navigate website that outlines all of the important information about your stores, including your current foodservice offers and promotions, roller grill or otherwise.
Your website should also link to your social media profiles. Social media is an underutilized tool for many c-stores — one that can easily and quickly communicate your offers to consumers.
And for any type of marketing, social media or otherwise, remember that visuals are incredibly important. This is true for foodservice especially; after all, people eat with their eyes first.
Consider hiring a professional photographer to take photos of your stores and your current offers. If a photographer’s not in the budget, you could even encourage employees to snap a few photos themselves during any downtime, or after restocking the toppings, for example. After all, today’s phones can take great photos with very minimal effort.
Of course, marketing — for the roller grill or otherwise — is not a one-size-fits all approach. What works best will depend on your specific customers and how they want to be reached.