Editor’s Note: The McLane/NATSO Foundation Index is one of the many knowledge resources NATSO produces in our quest to deliver solutions to help NATSO members make good business decisions.
The index is produced quarterly and offers NATSO members the opportunity to compare their average weekly convenience store purchases with those of travel plazas and truckstops serviced by supply chain provider McLane.
To commemorate the release of the recent index, McLane has shared their industry expertise again in the form of their “Ask a Category Manager” series. McLane produces this downloadable category information monthly. Over the next few days, Darren Schulte will be exploring the topics covered in the “Ask a Category Manager” series from the truckstop prospective. - AT
Your Foodservice Sales Could Average $1,200 a Day
As referenced in McLane’s “Ask a Category Manager” on foodservice, “Foodservice may be a growing category, but the execution, sales and profitability of foodservice in retail outlets across the channel is extremely inconsistent. The top quartile of c-store foodservice sales averaged $1,200 per day in 2011, but the bottom quartile averaged only $135 in sales per day.” (Download the “Ask a Category Manager” on foodservice here.)
How do you ensure your truckstop is in the top quartile?
In my experience, it does not take a lot to improve your food service program, but it does take a commitment. I’d encourage you to ask yourself these questions before embarking on an expanded food service program:
- How are we managing food cost?
- How are we tracking waste?
- How are we tracking/managing portion control?
- How often are we completing an inventory?
- How do you account for employee food purchases? Who rings them up?
Perhaps start easy by focusing on buildable items for lunch. (One study from Living Social found that the most popular restaurant meal is lunch, with 2.6 lunch occasions occurring on average each week (both carry-out and dining in). Another study, conducted by Technomic, revealed that the heaviest users of foodservice during the lunch day part are millennial (ages 18 to 34), and they are also the most likely to frequently use value items as a way to build meals.) To take advantage of these trends, I would consider adding either a hot box or another roller grill. Hot dogs and tornados continue to provide stores with inexpensive, labor-friendly meal solutions that allow store operators to expand their fresh food offering.
Remember, as we have seen in Europe on NATSO’s International Study Tours and in locations state side, traditional, profitable and stable categories within the truckstop and travel plaza industry are not producing the necessary gross margin return-on-investment (GMROI) that they used to. Finding ways to improve your profitability and increase your share of wallet in non-fuel revenue is as important as ever.
More resources of food service:
- International Retailers Focus on Fresh Food
- Plan of Action to Add Popcorn to Your Truckstop
- Four Essential Improvements for your Grab-N-Go Food Offerings
- Three Food Trends that Boost Sales
- Fast Casual Food at Truckstops
- Six Ways to Set Your Truckstop Apart
/// Post provided in partnership with NATSO Chairman's Circle member McLane. McLane is a highly successful $34 billion supply chain services company, providing grocery and foodservice supply chain solutions for thousands of convenience stores, mass merchants, drug stores and military locations, as well as thousands of chain restaurants throughout the United States. Learn more about McLane.
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