Over the past few years, foodservice options at convenience stores have evolved into something consumers crave. And with c-stores offering greater variety and a higher quality of products than ever before, consumers are purchasing more food more often.
In fact, the majority of c-store foodservice customers are regulars. According to Technomic’s Q1 2020 C-Store MarketBrief, 89% of c-store consumers purchase foodservice food items on at least a monthly basis, with most (64%) purchasing hot food. Convenience stores have made themselves a formidable competitor in the foodservice industry: Sixty-four percent of c-store customers say they are making fewer purchases from fast-food restaurants, among several other types of foodservice operators, because they’re choosing c-store foodservice instead.
This steady demand makes foodservice a focus for retailers looking to grow their businesses, and rightly so. Era of Disruption: Is Your Business Built for Growth?, a 2019 collaborative study by CSP and Technomic, reported that “supporting the growth of foodservice is the focus of store remodels and new builds” and found that “amenities to enhance the foodservice program span from menu to tech.”
In c-stores, few innovations make as direct and dramatic an impact on food quality as technologies that improve foodservice. Here’s why.
Kitchen innovations improve service and quality
The more kitchen technology can streamline the food-prep process, the less room there is for human error. Data cloud connectivity, for example, allows retailers to ensure menu consistency from location to location. Alto-Shaam’s ChefLinc™, a cloud-based, remote oven management system that enables a user to interact with their Alto-Shaam oven, is a prime example.
ChefLinc connects Vector® H Series Multi-Cook ovens to the Alto-Shaam cloud-based dashboard to store operational data and recipe libraries, allowing for centralized management across an organization. This eliminates the need for employees at each individual store to upload recipes to an oven manually; therefore, it averts the possibility of creating accidental discrepancies among different locations’ recipes.
Not only does a centralized management system simplify the user interface, but it can also reduce demands for labor. With ChefLinc’s easy-to-navigate touchscreen controller and a dashboard for seeing real-time connectivity status, cooking state and alerts, food prep requires fewer employee hours, by reducing travel store-to-store and building out guided, step-by-step recipes that are easy to follow.
Technical difficulties can put a halt to food production, which means troubleshooting kitchen technology should take as little time and effort as possible. ChefLinc helps minimize oven downtime by providing alerts and real-time service diagnostics. No time is wasted waiting for maintenance to arrive and address any issues: Employees can receive accurate, reliable service support from Alto-Shaam service experts with dashboard mirroring.
Plus, data storage creates the opportunity for long-term improvements. With ChefLinc, retailers can record, monitor and store operational and cooking data and draw insights to improve efficiency.
Innovations that improve c-store foodservice quality and consistency while expediting prep can make an enormous impact on the customer experience. C-stores have already proven themselves as true competitors in the foodservice industry, but with state-of-the-art equipment in the kitchen, they can leverage convenience, consistency and quality to give themselves an even greater edge in the market.
To learn more about Alto-Shaam’s ChefLinc remote oven management system, visit alto-shaam.com/cheflinc.
This post is sponsored by Alto-Shaam