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    Hot Stuff Recognizes Retailers

    President's Club honors 600-plus stores for outstanding service, customer commitment.

    PHOENIX -- Hot Stuff Foods recently honored its top franchisees during the company's annual President’s Club meeting held at the Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs Resort here. Retailers, representing more than 600 c-stores, were recognized for their outstanding service and customer commitment.

    Hot Stuff chief executive officer John Fontana said President's Club membership recognizes them as the "best of the best," and "is our way of expressing gratitude to our outstanding franchise partners."

    In addition to being honored for their accomplishments, President's Club members were also provided with insights and trend information from Scott Seltz, vice president and publishing director for Convenience Store News, who presented the publication's 2007 Industry Report.

    Noting that "one of the most valuable elements of the gathering was the opportunity for the retailers to exchange information and learn from each other," Fontana said a highlight was the Q&A Best Practices panel presentation by innovative and successful Hot Stuff franchisees. Each panelist emphasized the growing role of foodservice and the percentage of inside sales it represented.

    The seasoned group of retailers also offered practical advice, including the importance of maintaining every element of a store's appearance and cleanliness, noting that often the customer's impression of the foodservice program is made before a customer ever tastes the food.

    Other insights included the value of learning the names of regular customers and how effective use of sandwich cards (with the customer's name on them) can serve as an effective means for internalizing customer's names, as well as building repeat business and customer satisfaction. Innovative local marketing and engaging the entire c-store staff, including customized incentives for growing foodservice, was also encouraged.

    Fontana said the goal for Hot Stuff Foods and its franchisees going forward is to make people say "WOW" and fundamentally reshape the way consumers think about convenience store food. At the event's conclusion, Fontana punctuated his point by unveiling the company's new, patent-pending Big Stuff Pizza -- a 52-inch party pizza ideal for football parties, youth sports' events, birthdays and family get-togethers.

    Hot Stuff Foods franchises and/or licenses its branded food concepts including Hot Stuff Foods, SmashHits Deli and Hot Stuff Food On the Go in more than 1,400 locations throughout the U.S., Canada, Europe and Asia. Hot Stuff Foods also offers Lettieri's Food To Go through distributors across the U.S.

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