In the convenience channel, succeeding in the foodservice category can appear deceptively simple: offer good food for a good value, and make sure it is easy and convenient for customers to buy it. However, the reality is much more complex as the lines between competitive channels have grown so blurry as to appear nearly nonexistent, and consumers have more options and information at their fingertips than ever before.
Adding an explosion of recent technological innovation into the mix only increases that complexity, but to succeed in foodservice today, convenience store retailers must set the intersection of foodservice and technology as their destination.
Asking what role technology will play in the future of foodservice is itself “a really big question,” according to Art Sebastian, vice president of digital at Casey’s General Stores Inc. “The role of technology is certainly here today and will continue to grow over time.”
The Ankeny, Iowa-based c-store retailer, which operates the fifth-largest pizza chain in the United States through its 2,400-plus stores, has focused on making food the “hero” of its digital experience for several years now. This includes significant focus on consumer-facing technology, such as a revamped website and native mobile app that make it easy to place digital orders, as well as the Casey’s Rewards loyalty program, which celebrated its second birthday this year.