food for thought

Patience doesn't come easy, but it can haveits rewards. Nowhere is that more evident thanby observing the foodservice programs at Exxon Mobil Corp. and Nice N Easy Grocery Shoppes. Bothchains have refined their food segments over severalyears to come up with the right menu to meet the needsof core customers, and that's why Convenience StoreDecisions is proud to be honoring these two chains withits Best in Class Foodservice Awards for 2007.

CSD annually honors a large and a small chainconvenience operator for their commitment to the foodservice category. Fairfax, Va.-based Exxon Mobil Corp.garners the 2007 Large Chain Foodservice Award forits consistent commitment to foodservice. The SmallChain Award goes to Nice N Easy Grocery Shoppes Inc.in Canastota, N.Y. for its innovation in developing itsproprietary Easy Street Eatery foodservice brand.

Anchored by its popular Bengal Traders coffee program, available at ExxonMobil's nearly 1,000 On the Runconvenience stores, the company in 2005 launched aline of proprietary gourmet breakfast sandwiches underthe On the Run Cafe brand name. The breakfast farecomplements its vast daytime sandwiches, subs andfinger foods such as taquitos and nachos. What makesthe offering so impressive is the remarkable consistency the chain delivers, a toppings bar with dozens ofvarieties of chilled sauces and relishes and the upscaleenvironment created to promote its food line.

Nice N Easy originally delved into foodservice tomake up for shrinking cigarette profits, but has sincebecome a food destination for its upstate New Yorkcustomers. The company started by creating individualproprietary brands for pizza (Mama Mia's), breakfastprogram (Egg On The Go), made-to-order sub/sandwichprogram (On The Go), roller grill offer (PJ Dogger HotDogs) and finally its coffee and bakery programs (GrandChoice Cafe), but has since rolled them into its EasyStreet Eatery umbrella.

At the helm of Nice N Easy's foods offer is its ownfoodservice "guru," Jack Cushman, PhD. Stepping in asvice president of foodservice, Cushman methodicallyused his restaurant background to turn Nice N Easyinto a well-oiled foodservice machine.

Whenever Nice N Easy adds foodservice to a store, its goal is to have the category represent 25 to 30% ofsales. As soon as the company introduced its new EasyStreet Eatery concept at its first store, it saw foodservice sales jump as high as 36% of in-store sales. Thestore has exceeded the chain's pre-construction estimates of $10,000 a week in food sales and it showsno signs of slowing.

Why Attend?
The growth of the foodservice segment continues to exceed expectations across multiple channels.Aside from c-stores, colleges and universities, hospitals, mass merchandisers and even the drug store anddollar store channels are starting to realize the positive financial impact a strong food program can haveon bottom lines. CSD's Foodservice Show will explorewhat these segments are doing and whether they areencroaching on the industry's market share.

The show, which will also feature a wide-range oflabor, marketing and food safety experts; strategic, oneon-one buying sessions and tabletop exhibits, takesplace June 4-6 at the Renaissance Worthington Hotelin Fort Worth, Texas.

Keynote speakers for the event are Louis Sheetz,executive vice president of Sheetz Inc. in Altoona, Pa.,widely regarded as one of the most savvy foodserviceoperators in the industry; and David Bishop, partner forWillard Bishop, who will deliver the Opening Session.

Other show speakers include labor expert MelKleiman, president of Humetrics Inc.; food safety specialist Marsha Robbins and marketing expert JohnMatthews, president of Gray Cat Enterprises. Retailerpanels will discuss other key areas like the cost of entryinto the foodservice market and consumer trends.

By attending the only conference and trade showdedicated entirely to foodservice, you get to take part inthese comprehensive educational seminars and exhibits designed to help you maximize profits and growyour business. Bottom line: you'll leave with a strongersense of how to expand your foodservice lineup andimprove operations to grow your business, both todayand down the road.

To register for the show or review agenda information, please visit www.csdecisions.com/foodservice

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