You are here
CHICAGO -- At the recent National Restaurant Association (NRA) Show, Convenience Store News presented a tactical panel discussion, entitled "How To Do World-Class C-store Foodservice." Panelists included foodservice consultant Dean Dirks, Nice N Easy Grocery Shoppes' executive vice president of food services Dr. Jack Cushman and Kwik Trip Inc.'s director of foodservice research and development Jim Bressi. CSNews Executive Editor Linda Lisanti served as moderator.
The overriding message of the panel was that convenience stores need to think and act like restaurants. Food safety and quality, hygiene and cleanliness are paramount whether c-stores follow Kwik Trip's vertical integration model or Nice N Easy's reliance on local distributors and making all food fresh at the store level.
"We are a restaurant, a grocery store, a fueling station and a thirst destination. The trick is balancing the expertise needed in all those areas," Cushman remarked.
Bressi said foodservice doesn't start in the kitchen, but rather the bathroom. "You have to have a clean bathroom before you can sell food. You start with hygiene and food safety," he said.
Dirks stressed that a c-store retailer must do the financial analytics to justify the return on their investment for equipment, branding, labor, etc. before even jumping into foodservice. "You need to do your due diligence. If you don't do it right, it could kill your business," he said.