How High-Value Sides Are Driving Fried Chicken Sales

homestyle meal
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It’s not a chicken dinner without all the fixings—and for convenience stores leveraging quality foodservice to compete with other foodservice operators, a selection of classic side dishes is a must-have.

In fact, menuing the right sides can underscore the value proposition across the menu for quality-focused consumers, ultimately driving sales volumes and margins.

Quality counts

Communicating value to consumers is a powerful sales driver; as a shopper considers adding a side dish to their basket, the question of getting their money’s worth is likely to tip the scales. And while pricing is certainly a key element in determining value, perceived quality is an important metric, too.

Technomic’s Aug. 2021 Sides, Small Plates & Starters Consumer Trend Report recommends foodservice operators focus marketing tactics and menu descriptions for side dishes on communicating value—not just to drive purchases of sides, but to drive sales across meal parts as consumers “make it a meal” with multiple items off the menu.

Sustaining sales

Especially as consumers are resuming their pre-pandemic commuting routines, incentivizing repeat purchases can be especially worthwhile—and delivering on value is an important first step.

In addition, Technomic’s Sides, Small Plates & Starters Consumer Trend Report highlights three core attributes that can drive side-dish sales: craveability, uniqueness and variety.

Classically craveable comfort foods, such as mac and cheese and mashed potatoes, reign supreme as crowd-pleasers, and signature recipes and scratch-made quality can help boost the uniqueness-factor. Variety incentivizes repeat purchases by ensuring customers can alter their orders during subsequent visits. A great selection of homestyle sides can bring variety to standby entrees such as fried chicken; for example, a shopper who orders a side of green beans one day can switch it out for potato wedges the next.

Seek value at the source

Boosting quality and increasing menu variety may seem like a tall order for retailers feeling the strain of current challenges to the market. Fortunately, suppliers such as Chester’s Chicken offer a one-stop shop for c-stores looking to cash in on demand for fried chicken and classic side dishes that shoppers know and love—without adding labor behind the scenes.

Chester’s uses only the freshest chicken in all its recipes, and Chester’s new side dishes—including potato wedges, mac and cheese, mashed potatoes, and green beans with bacon—boost the value proposition and the potential to increase basket sizes even further.

Offering great value—and delicious homestyle cooking—never goes out of style. To explore offerings from Chester’s Chicken, visit

This post is sponsored by Chester’s Chicken