Foodservice: Perfecting the Menu Mix

Retailers explore innovation while preparing for change

By 
Aimee Harvey, Managing Editor, Technomic

Expansion of c-store prepared foods is changing the industry landscape. But while the channel appears wide open for foodservice growth, there are a few hurdles ahead. Here are three to watch in 2017.

1. Labor that works.

The entire foodservice industry is feeling the labor squeeze. For c-stores, the challenge of putting together the ideal team looms especially large. This includes training workers to think like a kitchen staff, implementing customization and teaching food safety.

2. Who’s the customer?

The Gen Z set is emerging with a whole new attitude about c-store foodservice. Opportunities abound to capture their attention with bold flavors and unique limited-time offers. But c-stores must strike a menu balance to avoid alienating their millennial core.

3. Owning the day.

C-stores excel at the coffee/hand-held-item pairing in the morning, but research also shows that  customers are ready for more hot-food variety during snack times, lunch and dinner. Expect more messaging around afternoon and evening deals to drive increased traffic.

37%

Percentage of consumers who purchased lunch from a c-store at least monthly in 2016

Source: Technomic

Click here to see the complete foodservice data from the 2017 Category Management Handbook.