Convenience stores have been upping their foodservice game over the last couple of years. In 2021, foodservice sales reached a record high of $43.2 billion in sales, and 20.5% increase from 2020.Convenience stores are evolving to stops for people to fuel not only their cars, but themselves too.
What Makes Customers Choose C-store Foodservice?
Convenience store foodservice has been a big trend so far this year. From boosting overall in-store sales to bringing in more customers, foodservice has brought many benefits to store owners. While foodservice is a great, high-margin addition to business it can also be competitive. Here are 4 ways to get customers to choose your store for their breakfast, lunch, dinner, or late-night snack needs…
40% of surveyed customers said they don’t purchase food at c-stores because the price is too high. Additionally, 18% feel like convenience stores don’t offer sales or promotions on foodservice. With foodservice typically being a high-margin category, consider reevaluating your price range to encourage more purchases. You can also offer special promotions like 30% off your first foodservice purchase, $1 off any breakfast sandwich on Tuesdays between 7:00AM-10:00AM, or something similar that works best for your store.
35% of surveyed customers said they don’t trust the quality of food at convenience stores. This could be for a variety of reasons. Customers may feel like store cleanliness isn’t up to par or they may have outdated ideas about the quality of products in convenience stores. While it can be difficult to change people’s minds on this topic, consider offering free samples of your foodservice to let customers try them out and encourage them to purchase a full meal from you.
29% of surveyed customers feel like convenience stores don’t offer a good selection/enough variety. Preferences tend to vary by generation. According to Convenience Store News, Millennials prefer healthier items like fruit, smoothies, and breakfast sandwiches whereas Gen Z prefers items like french fries and Mexican food. It is important to cater to your customer base, so be sure to offer options when it comes to foodservice. Some items to consider include sandwiches, hot dogs, pizza, smoothies, fruit bowls, breakfast items (sandwiches, bowls, plates), chicken (grilled and fried), etc. You could also conduct a customer survey to see what your store’s customers would prefer you offer. Having options that works for most of your customer base can encourage more purchases.
Many customers don’t even know convenience stores offer foodservice, in fact 21% of surveyed customers said they’ve never thought of looking for foodservice products at c-stores. To raise awareness, try advertising your foodservice through signage, mailers, and word-of-mouth. You might also have to consider moving these products to a more visible in-store area. Bringing more awareness to foodservice in your store could increase foot traffic and purchases.
Despite the above reasons customers do not choose convenience stores for foodservice, 64% of surveyed customers said they were very satisfied with their most recent foodservice purchase at a c-store and just 6% of those surveyed said they were not satisfied, according to convenience store news. So, once you can win a foodservice customer, they tend to be satisfied which could encourage them to spread the word about your business by leaving a review or recommending your business to a friend. Foodservice can be great for business, especially when you know how to deal with the common challenges!
Learn more about the how foodservice is driving sales for convenience stores