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