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NATIONAL REPORT — For convenience stores offering branded foodservice operations in their stores, there can be many rewards. Often, branded foodservice partners will pull customers into the store from the fuel pumps. A successful partnership, however, has many moving parts.
Below is a brief tutorial outlining best practices in the category from Maurice P. Minno, principal of MPM Group, a Palm Springs, Calif.-based management consulting firm serving the foodservice, retail and hospitality industries.
Business Case/Feasibility. What are the best practices that must be considered in building the business case that justifies a branded foodservice partnership? What are the best practices a retailer should use when undertaking a comprehensive due diligence assessment of the “real” costs, risks and rewards for partnering with a branded foodservice partner?
Strategy Alignment. What best practice supports picking the “right” foodservice branded partner? What best practices can be applied for aligning the branded foodservice partner’s strategic plan with the retailer’s foodservice strategic goals — short and longer term? What best practices are used in sharing mutually strategic plans — the retailer’s and the branded foodservice partner?
Culture. Are there any best practices for understanding and managing the cultural fit of the branded foodservice partner’s business relative to the retailer’s business culture?
Contract Terms. What are the best practices for structuring the “right” contract with a branded foodservice partner? What are the biggest pitfalls to avoid? What are the best-practice processes that need to be incorporated into the branded foodservice partner’s contract?
Brand Control & Customization. What best practices are effective in customizing the branded foodservice partner’s program to the retailer’s business? What are the best practices for adopting the branded foodservice partner’s ongoing product development and innovation to the retailer’s specific foodservice program?
Relationship Enhancement/Building. What techniques/processes work best in building a mutually beneficial relationship that is strategic and collaborative? How often and what best practices should be used in ongoing top-to-top meetings with the branded foodservice partner?
Standards. What best practices must a retailer consider adopting for consistently meeting the branded partner’s operating requirements and standards (food safety/sanitation, customer speed of service, quality of food and service, overall operational excellence, among others)?
Operating Conflicts. What operating best practices (separate branded program deliveries, cleaning public areas, cleaning parking lots, staffing conflicts, manager/management conflicts, communications, among others) should be adopted by retailers with branded foodservice partners to avoid the potential for conflicts?
Financial Performance. What best practices will result in maximizing the financial performance of the branded foodservice stores?
Food Management System. How critical is a retailer’s food management system to successful partnering with a branded foodservice partner? Are there specific food management system reports or system processes that are considered best practices in branded foodservice partnerships?
Micro-Marketing. What best practices relate to the trial of new products, new product lines or programs that minimize risk or cost?
Product Usage. What best practices result in setting more accurate estimates of projected product usage?
Supply Chain Optimization. What are the best practices for effectively managing the retailer’s supply chain given the branded foodservice program’s required product line? What are the best practices for optimizing the retailer’s supply chain, especially if the branded foodservice program changes the product standards relative to quality, freshness, specific types or brands of required products, delivery frequency or other dynamics to the retailer’s existing distribution network?
Customer Satisfaction & Demographics. What branded foodservice partner best practice opportunities are there relative to more robust consumer research, clearly understanding customer preferences (brand and product), insights on satisfaction, among others?
Competitor Benchmarking. Are there best practices in competitive benchmarking that the branded foodservice partner can provide and support?
Support Resources. What best practices and insights are there for leveraging the branded partner’s support resources? What support resources are most critical to have in place in support of the branded foodservice business?
Ending the Partnership. Should either the retailer or the branded foodservice partner decide to terminate the relationship? What are the best practices for how best to end a branded foodservice partnership? What best practices relate to protecting the retailer’s business network from potential branded foodservice partner market encroachment in the future?
Editor's note: Look in the April issue of Convenience Store News for more on managing branded foodservice partnerships. A digital edition can be accessed by clicking here.