Fischer’s Neighborhood Market Shares How It Reduces Upfront Costs in Foodservice

Convenience-store retailer presents at CSP’s Dispensed Beverages Forum
Jorge Salinas, foodservice manager, Fischer’s Neighborhood Market
Photograph by CSP Staff

Fischer’s Neighborhood Market is “slowly but surely” expanding its foodservice program, Jorge Salinas (pictured), foodservice manager, said during a retailer talk at the CSP Dispensed Beverages Forum on April 10.

“Some stores don’t have grills, so we have to improvise, like cooking all eggs in a microwave,” Salinas said. “It’s worked very well.”

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To reduce upfront costs, the convenience-store chain that has 32 stores under the Fischer’s and Pit Stop banners, seeks out new vendors for better bids and focuses on transparency with partners to help grow business.

“Make sure what they’re bringing to the table is real,” Salinas said. “Sometimes they promise one thing but deliver less, which ends up costing us money.”

The chain also conducts customer testing with existing versus new products. “We might find a product that the customer likes more but costs us less,” he said.

When it comes to investing in the future, the New Braunfels, Texas-based chain is engaged in house branding, recently going with a new vendor for core products. In addition, the chain is creating proprietary fountain/frozen offers.

They also sell Teazzers Tea and Frazil, Salinas said, with an emphasis on iced coffee offerings because of their location in Texas, bundle products to promote sales and foodservice, and schedule limited-time offers.

Building Breakfast

Fischer’s also is investing in its marketing team and is expanding its foodservice offerings. A recent addition is in-house breakfast tacos and sandwiches, an upgrade from frozen products. This has improved sales and grown the breakfast daypart for Fischer’s.

“We’re mainly known just for pizza,” Salinas said. “This expands the public’s perception of what we have to offer—more variety.”

Salinas said one way Fischer’s is differentiating itself is through Free Tea Tuesday, a program designed to drive customer retention.

“We’re pushing for making it an LTO,” he said. “Doing it all the time gets boring after a while.”

At select stores, Fischer’s also offers a free tea with a purchase of 10 gallons or more, a program advertised at the pump. “The customer brings in the receipt and gets a free tea,” Salinas said.

Salinas also noted the importance of using all the coffee beans in bean-to-cup hopper because coffee beans are good only for about seven days.

“Train employees to let all the beans run out, clean out the hopper well, and then fill it only halfway so the beans don’t oxidize, which affects the taste,” he said. With this new system, “You can smell that coffee brewing all the way to the front counter.” The coffee smell carries farther now, he said, because the fresher the beans, the more the flavor will travel.


In another presentation, Mitch Morrison, vice president of retailer relations and event content director of CSP parent Informa, spoke on the dispensed beverages program at Weigel’s.

The Powell, Tennessee-based c-store chain recently upgraded its technology in the fountain area with machines offering video capability, using this to showcase its food.

New frozen carbonated beverage flavors attract more kids—and adults—and a new line of fresh-brewed sweet teas and lemonade includes the sweetener in the brew bag, enabling the pure cane sugar to melt into the product during the brewing process. This eliminates the need to add sweeteners during or after brewing.

Weigel’s also recently added bean-to-cup, an espresso and latte machine offering six flavors, a nitro coffee dispenser, and a machine for frozen coffee products.

All coffees are organic, while some are Fair Trade; the chain also is adding cold wells to enable offering more creamer varieties.

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