The pandemic’s onset sparked an upward trend in comfort-food fare across markets and menus, and more than a year later, familiar favorites remain in high demand on convenience-store foodservice menus.
Unsurprisingly, fried chicken—and chicken sandwiches in particular—rank among some of consumers’ most popular picks. Simultaneously an old standby and a top trend, fried chicken sandwiches have seen particular success at the c-store amid the pandemic. According to Technomic’s Dec. 2020 Convenience Market Annual Report, fried chicken sandwiches grew 21% on c-store menus year-over-year.
Consumers won’t be getting tired of fried chicken any time soon, but by implementing these best practices, retailers can prepare to maximize profits during the busy travel season this summer. Here’s how.
Portability has always been a must-have for the c-store, but with off-premise sales dominating foodservice orders, it’s more crucial than ever. According to Technomic’s Q1 2021 C-Store Consumer Marketbrief, carryout is by far consumers’ favorite way to dine, with 52% of consumers saying their most recent foodservice purchase at the c-store was for takeout. Drive-thru and delivery follow at No. 2 and No. 3, with 19% and 12% of consumers patronizing these formats on their most recent visit.
Chicken sandwiches are portable by nature and are especially well-suited for shoppers seeking a quick meal during or after work hours. Fried-chicken finger foods are a great fit here, too, serving as both a meal option as well as a high-protein snack. Fried chicken sandwiches and Chicken Bites from Chester’s Chicken are great solutions here, offering retailers a quick fix for the high-quality chicken offerings their on-the-go consumers crave.
New additions to the menu are always welcome, but nothing drives hype like a limited-time offer. LTOs help c-store retailers keep their brand and their menu fresh, giving loyal guests an impetus to keep coming back for more. Even more, LTOs offer a perfect platform for showcasing new and exciting flavors. Especially during the busy summer traveling season, an appealing new offering can give a retailer a competitive edge.
Buffalo Boneless Wings from Chester’s Chicken are a fan favorite, and they’re a great candidate for an exciting LTO. Chester’s new Buffalo Fried Chicken Sandwich will join the ranks among offerings from Chester’s this summer, leveraging the momentum of the chicken-sandwich craze with a piquant new twist.
Managing supply chains remains a challenge for many retailers as the market remains uncertain. And as c-stores look to upgrade their menus with craveable offerings and LTOs, they must keep their margins in mind. To do so, they must maintain a robust understanding of their food costs and how they might need to adjust menu pricing in order to keep profits high.
Chester’s takes a consultative approach to margin management, providing operators with menu builder toolkits to help navigate market fluctuations. Chester’s also works closely with its operators to identify strategies to reduce waste, manage inventory, improve speed of service and more. With resources to help hone menu strategy—not to mention an array of delicious, high-quality fried chicken offerings—Chester’s is a one-stop shop for optimizing the menu in time to maximize summer profits.
To learn more, visit www.chesterschicken.com.
This post is sponsored by Chester’s Chicken