Over 15 years ago, Fleet Morris Petroleum’s Fleetway Market locations added Hunt Brothers Pizza to its foodservice mix. And, according to Casey Comfort, the company’s food and beverage director, in just over the past three years sales have increased by 20%.
“We chose Hunt Brothers for our pizza program because it is simple to execute, the products are consistently the highest quality, and the level of interaction, support and service are so high, (which is) a rarity in foodservice vendors today,” Comfort explained. “It also takes minimal labor to run it.”
Fleetway Market has 23 stores in Mississippi. All but a few offer pizza, and this year two additional stores are set to open with the Hunt Brothers Pizza program, he said.
“The cool thing is we operate in many rural areas that don’t have typical pizza chains, so we become the go-to take-home pizza restaurant,” Comfort noted. “Some of our stores do upwards of 100 pizzas a day in orders to pick up on the way home for dinner.”
Comfort also pointed out the profit margins are “higher than is typical on the store side.”
“While people might not think of pizza as a breakfast option, morning is our busiest time for pizza at our stores,” he said. “The breakfast pizza is already sauced and cheesed and ready to roll, so it’s easy for us to deliver a consistently fresh and delicious product.”
Throughout the year, limited-time offers (LTOs) also do well in the stores, he stated. To promote them, Hunt Brothers Pizza provides a full range of collateral marketing materials at no charge.
Hunt Brothers Pizza’s training processes are extensive and “are ironed out to a T,” Comfort noted. Employees use QR codes to access training videos as needed on a wide range of topics from making pepperoni pizzas to breaking down and cleaning the kitchen.
Reps from Hunt Brothers Pizza visit the stores once a week, and the company provides a single point of contact for Fleetway Market’s entire portfolio of locations. If there is an issue or slump in sales at any particular store, that contact person will immediately go there to give support and lead any necessary trainings.
Versatile & Flexible
For Andy Williams, director of retail sales for Santmyer Oil’s three Red Rover c-stores in Ohio, format flexibility is one of the most important attributes that Hunt Brothers Pizza brings to the table.
“They have a model that can fit into a lot of different formats based on the size of the store,” he said. “We’ll be putting the program in the two new stores we’ll be opening this year as well.”
The Hunt Brothers Pizza program was already in place when Williams joined the Red Rover team two years ago. Since that time high-volume locations have increased sales by 10-11% and other locations with lesser volume between 15-18%, he explained. Hunt Brothers Pizza is the largest portion of the stores’ food sales.
Williams noted that customers like the versatility of being able to come in and get one or two “hunks” (one-quarter of a 12-inch pizza) or call in an order for 10 whole pizzas. They also like the diversity of the toppings and that they can choose from over a thousand combinations at no additional charge.
Breakfast Pizzas and LTOs Do Well, Too
“The LTOs bump orders up as customers try them and like them,” Williams pointed out. “We see them increasing, even doubling their orders.”
Overall, Williams said, his company is very satisfied with the quality of the Hunt Brothers Pizza products, and customers agree that they are consistently excellent. Hunt Brothers Pizza’s product delivery system also saves time, and the products have a good shelf life.
Training is key to making the program work to its fullest potential, and Hunt Brothers Pizza makes sure that the convenience stores’ staff is trained on every aspect, he continued. Hunt Brothers Pizza provides both live trainings and materials that staff can refer to as needed.
“Anytime a question or need arises, Hunt Brothers is right there with answers and solutions,” he said. “That consistent service is another reason why we choose to work with Hunt Brothers.”