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So, you want to be a roller grill star. Well listen now, hear what I say. Just get some new products out. Drop them on the grill and your customers will pay!
While not rocket science by any means, introducing new products on your roller grill does require some thought and planning. Roller grills have become standard platforms in the convenience channel, capable of offering consumers new choices next to reliable standbys with relative ease.
Build On a Solid Foundation
A properly maintained roller grill should be your first step. A consumer’s first interaction with a roller grill is visual, so maintaining its visual appearance during the day is critical.
Here are a few tips to keep the grill on a solid foundation:
- Keep it full: No one wants the last hot dog. Keeping the grill and any related areas stocked communicates “fresh” to your customers.
- Keep it clean: Attention to detail at your roller grill station communicates quality.
- Keep the temperature in check: Temperature checks during your daily station checks maximizes your customer’s experience with optimal product and helps you avoid food-safety catastrophes.
- Pay attention to signage: Focus on the communication around your station, making sure each item is properly marked with up-to date signs, prices, etc. Nothing is more disappointing to a customer’s experience than unexpected news (like a price change, product out-of-stock, etc.) after he or she has made a purchase decision.
Which New Items Should You Introduce?
Survey the market. Are there items you should add to your mix to complete your portfolio? Talk to your patrons. What items have they requested? What products do they like in your current offering and why? Finally, make a decision. Introducing new products on your roller grill is all about trial and error. Don’t be afraid to make a mistake.
Putting Your Best Foot Forward With New Products
Communication is the first step. Make sure you communicate the new item with merchandising and signage inside and outside your store. Gaining customer trial is next. Use combos, bundles or introductory pricing to get traction with your customers.
Don’t forget about sampling. Scheduling a regular day to offer customers samples of new roller grill items can be a powerful way to gain momentum. Show your customers you care by letting them try before they buy.
If you want to be a roller grill star, take the time to maintain your foundation and be thoughtful about your product introductions. If you make a mistake, roll on.
Editor’s note: The opinions expressed in this column are the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the views of Convenience Store News.