Competition is heating up and not just among convenience stores, but with all retailers. Customers' demands have changed and providing access to quality products as quickly as possible is top priority. People are strapped for time and they appreciate the convenience of getting things they actually want and need easily, especially meals. Amazon's revenue may have increased by 38% in the last year, but what they are still unable to provide is fresh food ready to eat the moment a customer pays for it.
That’s why now is such a great time to invest in food service. If you can offer customers a place to get gas, grab coffee, and breakfast, they won’t need to stop anywhere else on their morning commute and your store quickly becomes a staple in their life.
Modern Day C Store
Millennials and Gen Z hold the biggest buying power and their needs are a big reason why businesses of all kinds are changing. They prefer a unique experience with constant innovation. A c-store with food service offers that.
Millennial's like ethnic or multicultural cuisine, they enjoy having a different variety for their food choices. The sales for fresher and healthier food options have also seen an increase among these customers.67% of millennials and 60% of Gen Z's agree that c-stores are just as capable of carrying fresh food as restaurants are. Your core customer base is looking for delicious food on the go, let them get it from your store.
When we say “modern day c-store” we mean a modern day version for YOUR c-store.
Competition is heating up
Putting your c-store in a position to better compete with other retailers should always be at the front of your mind. Large retailers like QuikTrip and Sheetz are already making food service a priority, turning c-stores and gas stations into some customers' favorite fast food option. The quick serve restaurant style is becoming even more popular, and customers can now buy fast meals that used to only be available at sit down restaurants. By adding in food service options you are not only competing with other small c-stores, but the entire restaurant industry. Customers like the word “convenience” and you can add in all the “convenience” they need with a food service in your store.
If you want your store to survive against competition, you will have to consider changing your business to fit the needs of your customers. Changes are not easy, but you need to become more desirable than the other retailers around you. Staying up to date with the latest food service trends is key to being better than your competition. You want to have the best quality items your customers can't find at any other c-store. Not only are you able to compete with big industries, but you will be bringing in additional revenue and foot traffic.
You want to create a memorable experience for every customer that comes in. A food service will do just that.
Adding in a food service requires investment, effort, and constant innovation. It will require extra training and more discipline from your employees. If you are willing to put in the extra time, you will see the hard work pay off as your business grows more than ever before.