KKC began its delivery operations in early 2019 by partnering with Uber Eats, Grubhub and DoorDash. At the time, KKC was adding about 10 c-stores a week to its delivery plan. While that number has slowed since the pandemic hit, the numbers haven’t entirely stopped: KKC is currently adding about five new stores every week to its delivery plan and has around 900 stores in total offering delivery, Allison Shapiro Dandry, director of communications and technology for Krispy Krunchy Foods LLC, told CSP Daily News.
“Delivery apps are the future,” she said. “We meet with their [Uber Eats, Grubhub and DoorDash’s] support people every week through conference calls and webinars to educate our customers.”
The move comes at a dire time for c-store foodservice. Recent numbers collected during the first week of August indicate that U.S. foodservice could fall between 24% and 29% in 2020—equivalent to about $250 billion to $300 billion dollars lost across all channels, according to CSP sister data firm Technomic. At best, c-store foodservice sales could decline by about 19% compared to 2019; in the middle, sales could fall more than 22%; and in its worst-case scenario, sales would drop 26%. Overall, nearly two-thirds (64%) of consumers who often shop at c-stores for foodservice said they have reduced their visits during the pandemic, said Technomic.
“C-stores are essential, but their in-store traffic during the pandemic has been horrible,” Dandry said. “We saw that people were increasingly ordering for delivery, so we thought, ‘How can we reach these people?’”
KKC’s delivery program also includes a new marketing plan for its c-store customers. It includes indoor and outdoor signage and mobile alerts promoting delivery and store cleanliness, as well as educational webinars on maximizing delivery. The program also includes a perks rewards program through Gubhub, offering $5 off any order of $25, and $10 off any order of $30.
Dandry said KKC’s long-term goal is to keep c-operators offering delivery beyond the pandemic.
“The pandemic has been the perfect time for c-store operators to get into delivery,” she said. “Many [operators] told us now they are doing better now than they were before COVID-19 without delivery. It has been great to see the immediate impact, but when things get back to normal, we want [operators] to stay on it.”
Lafayette, La.-based Krispy Krunchy Chicken has more than 2,500 locations in 46 U.S. states, American Samoa and Mexico. Last year, Krispy Krunchy added 476 branded c-store locations. Most recently, the company opened a new location inside a Go Mart c-store in Merida, Mexico. Krispy Krunchy Chicken was founded in 1989. It revamped its logo, stores and products last year in honor of its 30th anniversary.