Zarco USA, a convenience store chain located in Lawrence, Kan., has taken retailing to the next level by allowing customers to order deli sandwiches right at the pump.
According to Zarco USA owner Scott Zaremba, fuel margins are getting smaller and competitor pricing more aggressive. “My stores are positioned between two major c-store chains that offer low fuel prices and large convenience stores. For an independent operator like Zarco USA to survive, its imperative that we maximize non-fuel offerings such as our proprietary Scooters Coffee and Sandbar Subs.”
The problem for Zarco USA and many other fuel retailers is that most fuel customers never walk into the store. At each Zarco USA store, that can add up to more than 700 missed opportunities per day. So Zaremba decided that if customers don’t come inside, he’ll come to them and began working on the concept of ordering at the pump.
Over the past three years, Zaremba has developed an indoor self-service kiosk for his proprietary branded foodservice, Sandbar Subs. For the forecourt, he sought out technology expert Peter Tawil to develop a cost-effective, ruggedized tablet that installs onto existing fuel dispensers. The two worked together for months developing and testing the tablet and ordering app. The final product is called Siris
“Siris looks and feels like today’s popular consumer tablets but is made and certified for the fuel dispenser,” said Tawil. “People are more likely to interact with a tablet since they are used to using one at home or work. And since consumer habits are changing with technology, convenience stores need to be positioned to take advantage of them.”
Zarco is adding custom POP signage to promote all indoor and outdoor tablets. Zaremba noted, “I want to give my customers as many opportunities on each property to make a purchase, inside the store, at the drive-through and at the pump. And this tablet technology gives me the means to do that.” As for future profit generating opportunities for his tablets, Zarema said to stay tuned.