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CSP Magazine

2016 Mystery Shop: The Data

Foodservice alone makes or breaks the guest experience

For winning retailer Kwik Trip, foodservice isn’t just a strategic pillar of its business; it has been a major focus in its eff orts around the mystery shop itself. The retailer’s strong foodservice metrics are the most rewarding element of its involvement in the program, says Greg Olson, vice president of retail operations.

“It’s our No. 1 goal, our No. 1 priority since we rolled out [foodservice] in 2002,” Olson says. “We’ve made a ton of mistakes and have learned a lot since then. But our focus is on taking care of the guests, then taking care of the food.”

To reiterate that importance to employees, Kwik Trip has developed leadership levels just for its foodservice program, plus a bonus program built around food sales and food gross-profit dollars.

“It’s really on everyone’s mind every single day,” says Olson.

Safe Satiation

Of course, any foodservice program is problematic without sound food-safety practices, particularly as the industry faces more stringent regulations from the Food Safety Modernization Act.

“A customer buying a sandwich a couple of degrees off what it should be is not going to have a customer service experience that’s any lesser,” says Gus Olympidis, CEO of second-place mystery-shop finisher Family Express, Valparaiso, Ind. “But if they get sick because the rare occasion becomes reality, then it could be catastrophic.”

This year, the top five retailers in each food-safety attribute mostly scored in the 90s and high 80s. Four received perfect scores for having a procedure in place for tracking temperatures in the sandwich cooler, but the top five dropped to the low 90s and upper 80s for coolers being in the proper temperature range.

The fountain is the biggest Achilles’ heel for the c-store industry, Olympidis says. Too many retailers are not sanitizing their valves often enough—and do not have a set procedure in the first place.

“A c-store chain having a bad event in your neighborhood but not in your store is still your problem,” he says.

Craveable Convenience

Quinn Ricker, president and CEO of Ricker’s, Anderson, Ind., says the 125-store chain is “still in the infancy” of its foodservice program. The offer, now in 14 sites, continues to be rolled out. Ricker’s placed in the top five in a number of foodservice categories, particularly in food safety. The retailer conducts a monthly foodservice excellence inspection, examining everything from food safety to food quality elements such as item rotation, speed of service and the quality of ingredients.

Speedway, Enon, Ohio, has made foodservice a big focus with its grab-and-go breakfast sandwiches, pizza, roller-grill items and snacks. Each site gets a foodservice mystery shop that examines multiple facets. “On top of cleanliness, we look at rotation and dating of items, being in stock, plan-o-gram integrity,” says Glenn Plumby, senior vice president of operations.

As is evident for mystery-shop winner Kwik Trip, success comes with the balance of a high-quality, craveable menu and the safety and operational processes to hold it up.


DATA TABLE OF CONTENTS

TOP-LINE SCORES

FOODSERVICE PERFORMANCE

CLEANLINESS PERFORMANCE

EMPLOYEE PERFORMANCE

CSP/Service Intelligence Mystery Shop Top-Line Scores

The 2016 mystery-shop audits were conducted from May 12 to June 16. These audits took place between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. any day of the week. Following each visit, mystery shoppers completed a survey in which each response received equal value.

Overall Brand Performance

Kwik Trip94.6%
Family Express93.9%
QuikTrip93.5%
Cumberland Farms92.7%
Rutter's Farm Stores91.5%

Brands Shopped

BrandNumber of shops
Kwik Trip81
Family Express64
QuikTrip81
Cumberland Farms80
Rutter's Farm Stores60
Speedway84
Ricker's50
GPM/Fas Mart81
Thorntons54
Kum & Go80

Continued: Foodservice Performance

Foodservice Performance

Continued: Cleanliness Performance

Cleanliness Performance

EXTERIOR CLEANLINESS
 
Were the pump island and its pumps clean?
 
Kwik Trip97.5%
Family Express95.3%
Rutter's Farm Stores93.2%
QuikTrip92.6%
GPM/Fas Mart91.4%
 
Was the pump island properly supplied?
 
QuikTrip96.3%
Kwik Trip91.4%
Speedway90.5%
Rutter's Farm Stores84.7%
Family Express84.4%
 
Were the garbage cans at the pump island neatly maintained?
 
Rutter's Farm Stores89.8%
Family Express89.1%
Cumberland Farms88.5%
Speedway85.7%
QuikTrip85.2%
 
Was the parking lot and store entrance free of garbage and debris?
 
Family Express95.3%
GPM/Fas Mart93.8%
Kwik Trip92.6%
QuikTrip91.4%
Kum & Go88.8%
 
Was all exterior signage in good condition?
 
Family Express100%
Kwik Trip100%
QuikTrip100%
Thorntons100%
Cumberland Farms98.8%
 
Were the garbage cans in front of the store well maintained?
 
QuikTrip97.5%
GPM/Fas Mart95.1%
Cumberland Farms93.8%
Rutter's Farm Stores91.7%
Speedway91.7%

INTERIOR CLEANLINESS

Were the floors inside the store clean?
 
QuikTrip93.8%
GPM/Fas Mart88.9%
Kwik Trip85.2%
Cumberland Farms83.8%
Rutter's Farm Stores81.7%
 
Was the ceiling clean (tiles and vents)?
 
Rutter's Farm Stores96.7%
Kwik Trip95.1%
QuikTrip92.6%
Ricker's88.0%
Family Express82.8%
 
Were all the lights you saw in the store working?
 
Ricker's100%
Rutter's Farm Stores100%
Speedway98.8%
Family Express98.4%
QuikTrip97.5%
 
Was the cash counter clean?
 
Cumberland Farms98.8%
Family Express96.9%
GPM/Fas Mart95.1%
Rutter's Farm Stores95.0%
Speedway92.9%

Was the restroom clean?

Kwik Trip92.6%
QuikTrip90.1%
Cumberland Farms89.9%
Family Express82.8%
GPM/Fas Mart81.7%
 
Was the restroom properly stocked?
 
Kwik Trip100%
QuikTrip100%
Family Express98.4%
GPM/Fas Mart98.3%
Rutter's Farm Stores98.2%

Continued: Employee Performance

Employee Performance

Were all on-duty employees wearing a uniform, including a nametag?
 
QuikTrip100%
Kwik Trip98.8%
Cumberland Farms97.5%
Family Express95.3%
Ricker's93.0%
Were all on-duty employees well groomed?
 
QuikTrip100%
Cumberland Farms100%
Family Express100%
Ricker's100%
Thorntons100%
Speedway100%
GPM/Fas Mart100%
Did the cashier make you feel like a valued customer?
 
Kwik Trip85.3%
Family Express84.6%
Cumberland Farms84.3%
QuikTrip82.2%
Speedway80.6%
Would you recommend this store to others?
 
Cumberland Farms91.0%
Kwik Trip90.6%
QuikTrip88.4%
Ricker's87.7%
Rutter's Farm Stores86.9%

 

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