Foodservice

SunStop Launching Kiosk-Ordering Foodservice Program, While Kwik Trip Is Deep Into Grab and Go

Experts from the 2 convenience-store chains talk concepts at CSP forum
Carrie Wiggins of Kwik Trip (left) and Constance Rolfson of Southwest Georgia Oil Co.
Photograph by CSP Staff

A new made-to-order program is coming in a few weeks to Southwest Georgia Oil Co., while Kwik Trip remains focused on its grab-and-go foodservice offerings.

At SunStop, owned by Southwest Georgia Oil Co., Bainbridge, Georgia, Constance Rolfson (right), brand manager, said the convenience-store chain is implementing a brand-new concept for the company: a made-to-order kiosk program.

 

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“So that’s going to be new for everybody in about three weeks,” Rolfson said June 28 during a retailer panel at the 2024 CSP C-Store Foodservice Forum. “We are hoping to engage with our customers more by doing the kiosk.”

  • Southwest Georgia Oil Co. is No. 87 and Kwik Trip is No. 11 on CSP’s 2024 Top 202 ranking of U.S. convenience-store chains by store count.

This is a kiosk-ordering system that sits on a platform similar to what Wawa uses, Rolfson said. “The kiosk will talk to the KDS monitor system in the back and print receipts for us to make orders.”

At Kwik Trip, meanwhile, where the La Crosse, Wisconsin-based chain will be adding 40 locations in the next year and rebuilding 10, “We are not going to go the way of kiosks, because what Kwik Trip does is grab and go,” said Carrie Wiggins (left), director of foodservice. “If you want something made to order, you can get that through our app.”

Rolfson said that SunStop is known for its chicken—chicken tenders and its eight-piece chicken.

“We hand bread and fry,” she said. “That is our specialty with our proprietary breading. With the new combi ovens, we have started being more in a signature of grab and go. We have our own flatbread program now and our new hoagie program. Maybe four stores have this program, because only four stores have that Ovention right now. But we are fixing to adapt and put that in almost all of our stores.”

Menu Removal

Turning to removing items from the menu, Wiggins said this is something with which Kwik Trip struggles.

“We were doing proteins in our take-home meal case, where you could buy a fajita meat and then take it home and create a meal, which in theory sounds amazing, but it just didn’t sell,” Wiggins said. “I don’t know if it was packaging. We did a ton of promoting, and then it kind of became an emotional decision to remove that for people. But the numbers weren’t there, we were losing money. So we just keep having conversations behind closed doors to get the right people on it. So for take-home meals, we were carrying over 20, and we’re actually whittling it down to our best 12 to 15.”

In the Kwik Trip region, mac and cheese always does well, Wiggins said. “We cannot come up with enough ways to sell mac and cheese for whatever reason. And then one of our other top four sellers is chicken enchilada, which is unsurprising because it has so much crossover [appeal]. Everybody loves that.”

Regarding when to pull a product, Wiggins said, “Sometimes we ride it out till it dies. … we’re going to ride it out to the point where it's evident and clear that we’re not making money.”

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