CWC-Counter_Deli_00311

Doing Deli the Right Way

Convenience store operators have plenty of help when it comes to investing in a foodservice program. By Jim Callahan. I recently read that China’s convenience stores are experiencing double-digit growth in deli sales primarily driven by hot dog sales. But let’s be frank, nobody does hot dogs better than Americans. From the quality of the

24_Blog

Inspiring a Solid Work Ethic

Consider this an open letter to the young men and women that work in our stores. If you want to advance, don’t let your bosses out work you. By Jim Callahan. Did you ever wonder how older co-workers keep going long after many of their younger cohorts seem to have worn down and out?  I’m

employees4

Strengthening the Leadership Chain

When it comes to attracting and maintaining repeat customers, a convenience store is only as strong as its weakest link. By Jim Callahan. In Thomas Reid’s Essays on the Intellectual Powers of Man he wrote that, “in every chain of reasoning, the evidence of the last conclusion can be no greater than that of the

c-store

Thriving on Teamwork

Getting one store back in order in just two-and-a-half days proved to be the ultimate retail challenge. By Jim Callahan. One of my retail clients recently had to take back two failed convenience stores—that were in extremely bad condition—from a franchisee on a Wednesday and wanted them back online by the weekend. I love a

station

Fast Nickels vs.Slow Dimes

When it comes to competing in the fuel business, convenience store retailers must fight to maintain their market share. By Jim Callahan. I received an inquiry from a small retailer in the Northeast recently who had lost a huge chunk of his fuel volume due to some fierce new competition. This is an issue that

Countershot2

Training the Leaders of Tomorrow

While management is always on the lookout for new talent, it’s also up to employees to demonstrate that they are ready to advance to leadership positions. By Jim Callahan. As we embark on 2012, it’s time to start considering how you’re going to begin grooming team members for advancement within the company. Today’s employees are

Mentoring

Who Was Your Mentor?

As the convenience store industry continues to mature, today’s leaders have a responsibility to pass their wisdom forward. By Jim Callahan. Way back when I entered the oil industry as a bookkeeper in 1968, I didn’t have a clue how fortunate I was to have two great mentors. To be absolutely candid, I never heard

fast-food

Understand the Rules Customer Service

One unhappy shopping experience can influence the behavior of 16 customers. Can you afford to lose that business? By Jim Callahan. Great customer service is still and will always be the hallmark of any successful retail business. As convenience store operators we have high standards to compete with. For example, it is standard practice in

inspector

Complying with Government Regulations

Whether it’s foodservice, tobacco or unionization, c-store owners must educate themselves on the changes that are taking place and respond accordingly to protect their investments. By Jim Callahan. As if we did not have enough government intervention to deal with, we are about to come face to face with an enormous increase in rules and

Roast-Beef

Investing in a Foodservice Future

It’s time for all convenience store owners to recognize the overall value of a good deli program. By Jim Callahan. While a solid deli program is part of the convenience store industry’s present, it is destined to play an even larger and more critical part of our future. Whether you are a small chain or

employee

The ABC’s of ASPC

Understanding average sales per customer can stop employee theft in its tracks. By Jim Callahan. Human resources guru Mel Kleiman preaches that 20% of employees are basically honest, 20% are basically dishonest and the rest tend to gravitate toward the middle—depending on how management handles the dishonest employees. The following is designed to identify and

employee

Cultivating the Leaders of Tomorrow

Training employees to accept responsibility when they stumble will help groom the next generation of industry executives. By Jim Callahan. My wife called me one morning this week with a quote that gave us both pause to stop and think: “When you stumble, make it part of the dance.” I took some time to analyze

While some stores may be facing overcrowding, examining the facility with a critical eye and objectivity can help you find a new solution to an existing problem.

Keeping Your Cool in Turbulent Times

In order to change the outcome of a situation that plagues your operation, the quickest way to empower yourself is to take action as soon as possible. By Jim Callahan. Since the recession of 2009 hit, it has taken the skills of a tightrope walker to navigate the treacherous economic pitfalls to stay profitable. For

new-store

Investing in Tomorrow

Building a convenience store requires a great deal of planning. Operators are urged to examine all of their options before making their next big investment. By: Jim Callahan Thinking of building a new store? Well, I’ve got some thoughts and opinions to help you focus on making a wise investment. In these trying times few

Electronic cigarettes are  just one of the new products  that retailers should consider  when updating their product mix for 2011.

Embracing a Fresh Perspective

The New Year offers convenience store owners an opportunity to evaluate  their product mix to ensure they are meeting their customers’ needs. The bells have chimed, the ball has dropped and 2011 is now a reality. Happy New Year to all of you. Every New Year starts with hope and a sense of wonderment as

Employees may not like working holiday shifts. It’s important to remind them of the valuable service they provide to the industry’s loyal consumers.

Meeting the Demand for Convenience

  Even during the holiday season customers expect their local c-store not only to be open, but to meet their diverse needs. Every year during the holidays I have cashiers tell me that customers ask them why our stores are open on days like Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day. Customers often remark, “It’s a

Working to Make a Difference

An introspective look at life through the fading eyes of a genius. As our 28 year old daughter lay ill in Emory University Hospital, a wonderful second-generation Spanish surgeon knelt down and held my wife’s hands to share words of wisdom he learned from his father. He imparted to us what a great privilege it

Selling Smokes Still Profitable

While foodservice sales are soaring, the tobacco category is still as important as ever. I heard recently that the the profit convenience stores derive from foodservice has overtaken that of tobacco. Now I’m right there with the rest of the industry in joining the deli revolution, but that does not mean that I’m ready to

The Simple Secret of Free Publicity

Whether you operate a large or small chain, there are deals to be made that can attract a lot of positive attention to your company. I know some of you don’t place much of a value on publicity, but when was the last time you priced the cost of a retail ad in the local

Maintaining Faith in America

With jobs being transferred overseas and business burdened with new financial challenges, more and more employees are struggling to survive. Now I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t have a great understanding of the global economy, but there’s a disturbing trend of outsourcing jobs overseas, while at the same time hamstringing American business

Celebrate the Reason for the Season

It makes not one iota of difference whether you believe in Santa or celebrate Christmas to make a difference in someone’s life at this special time of the year. We all recognize that 2009—like no other year in the past 50—has created a genuine and critical need that provides both an opportunity for all of

The Power to Turn a Life Around

While this troubled economy lingers, there might never be a better time than right now to increase your efforts to make a positive difference in the lives of your employees. As I reflected on gracious words attributed to a motivational speaker, the late professor Leo Buscaglia, I was both struck by his gentle touch, and

Convenience Industry Takes Center Stage

Tips, thoughts and reminders to enhance your NACS Show experience. Move over Ringling Brothers because the NACS Show is indeed “The Greatest Show on Earth.” Beyond the night life, parties, shows and the glitter of the Las Vegas lights lies, by far, the best and most comprehensive trade show and conference in the industry for

Hitting the Customers’ “Sweet Spot”

The ability to offer outstanding service remains the industry’s biggest asset. Do whatever it takes to exceed expectations. Doing a late night check on our new Huddle House restaurant attached to a quite awesome BP travel center, I arrived just in time to tackle the concerns of a pretty tough and very tired truck driver

Mind Control: The Road to Success and Rewards

Fostering determination, desire and a great attitude in employees is what allows cashiers and middle managers to rise in senior management’s eyes. Saturday is my “honey, I’ll do it today” day. To be candid, though, my wife is much better with home repairs than me. We tackled regrouting an entire bathroom and my task was

css.php