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CHICAGO — Convenience store chain Thorntons Inc. celebrated the opening of its first foodservice-focused store in the Chicago area last week with a “Friends & Family” soft opening on March 3.
The store, located at 2095 East Algonquin Road, features both a grab-and-go kitchen and hot prepared foods. It’s the first in a series of new foodservice-focused Thorntons stores set to open in the greater Chicago area. The new format is designed to make the chain a food and beverage destination.
Key features of the new Chicago store include:
- Front and rear entrances, both of which enter into the middle of the store;
- Upon entering the front entrance (from the fuel pumps), customers turn left into the foodservice area, which is notably larger than other comparable Thorntons stores in the area.
- There is a food prep area on the sales floor, surrounded by a hot food case and a bakery case on one side and the hot beverage condiment counter on the other side.
- The food prep area is intended to be staffed by one dedicated team member throughout most of the day. Staffing overlaps between at least the first and second shifts by an hour to allow the second shift to prepare lunch items in the back room, while rotating the hot food case from morning to afternoon menu offerings.
- Outside, the store has an E85 dispenser along with Thorntons’ traditional fuel offerings.
Louisville-based Thorntons operates 184 convenience stores in Kentucky, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Tennessee and Florida.
Click on the image above to go inside Thorntons’ new store format.
*Photos courtesy of David Bishop, Balvor LLC