No matter the size of your c-store, adding foodservice options to your business can be a great way to bring in additional profits. Many store owners see foodservice as too much of a hassle to get into and maintain but with the category accounting for the largest percent of in-store sales, some upfront investment is definitely worth it. While installing an entire salad bar or a pizza oven may require a large budget and quite a bit of space, there are some other options that c-store owners have for entering into this new line of business.
Cold, Fresh Items
Starting with some cold options is a great way to please your customers with ready-to-eat products. Your refrigerated foodservice products could include pre-made sandwiches, a small deli counter, or fresh fruit cups.
While some may not consider frozen or refrigerated items to be foodservice items, when you allow customers to heat the food inside your c-store you are entering the hot food space without too much commitment.
Many of the traditional c-store foodservice options such as nachos, hot dogs, and pizza are easy to implement in your store with limited space, and don’t require too much maintenance. Dedicate some counter space to the grab and go food item of your choice and give your customers another reason to shop.
Try Dispensed Beverages
If you aren’t quite ready to take on ready to eat food items in your c-store, consider getting into dispensed beverage options. These range from coffees and cappuccinos to slushies and are a great way to bring in extra profit with a great margin.
Find a Vendor to Partner With
When you work with a trusted foodservice partner, you can not only save yourself time, but also money. Many foodservice vendors have special programs available for independent retailers and will handle a lot of the heavy lifting involved with setting up and managing the program.
Look for Local Options
There may be food vendors near your store that would be willing to partner with you to provide ready-to-eat foodservice options at your business. Maybe there is a pizza shop nearby that could make pizzas to keep in a warmer in your c-store, or perhaps there’s a local bakery that would love to sell their donuts at your store.
No matter what kind of food you decide to serve as a part of your foodservice efforts, you should make sure that you are valuing quality above all else. Try easing your customers into foodservice and focus on offering the best possible products at the best possible price while you look at ways to scale up and make even more money.