cigars

Building Your Cigar Business

Despite a demand from adult consumers, retailers are continually forced to defend their right to sell flavored cigars responsibly. By Howard Riell, Associate Editor Lawmakers in Washington, DC, and in all 50 states are eyeing cigars and, to a lesser degree, electronic cigars, not only as potential sources of additional revenue but, in many cases,

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Take Restrooms from Good to Great

Convenience store operators pushing a foodservice program must be committed to store cleanliness and sanitation. By John Lofstock, Editor. A new national survey revealed that 63% of Americans have had a particularly unpleasant experience in a public restroom due to the condition of the facilities. That’s bad news for operators looking to grow foodservice sales.

growler

Tapping into Craft Beer

With customer demand growing for upscale brews, a growler program is one way to expand your craft beer segment. By Erin Rigik, Associate Editor. As the craft beer trend grows, convenience stores are capitalizing on consumer demand for emerging local and seasonal brews by growing their craft beer sections and, in some cases, adding a

breakfast sandwiches

Speeding Through the Breakfast Zone

Consumers are looking for fast service, fresh ingredients and value pricing when it comes to a breakfast program. How competitive is your morning offering? By Pat Pape, Contributing Editor. Everyone knows that breakfast is important. Over the years, research has shown that adults who eat breakfast are generally healthier, weigh less and have a reduced

rollergrill

Diversifying the Foodservice Offering

Taking steps to promote innovative products and value pricing can elevate the whole roller grill experience to drive new sales.  By Howard Riell, Associate Editor. Convenience store operators looking to spice up their roller grill offerings have more tools at their disposal than ever before, including the weather, as autumn spurs consumers to seek hot,

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Developing a Sense of Urgency at Retail

From store cleanliness to customer service, all retailers must go above and beyond the call of duty to protect their brand identity.By Jim Callahan. I don’t get upset too often, but I’m usually able to get there pretty quickly when it does happen. And when I do encounter a less-than-positive experience, I always look for

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Baron-Huot Oil Calls it Quits on Retail

Illinois chain exits the c-store business after a rich 102-year history in retail with the sale of its 10 stores to Alimentation Couche-Tard. It will focus on its wholesale business. By Erin Rigik, Associate Editor. What started in 1911 with Elzie Huot selling kerosene from a horse and buggy and grew to a fourth-generation, 10-store

Celebrating Maverik’s Adventure Culture

Maverik Inc. is a convenience store chain that prides itself on serving others, and that’s what helped make Convenience Store Decisions’ 2013 Chain of the Year award dinner in Atlanta so special last month. The Utah company that is so used to making others feel special found itself as the center of attention before nearly

An Electronic Cigarette Is An Anti Smoking Health Device

Smokeless Tobacco Earning Extra Display Space

While electronic cigarettes are gaining a lot of attention, moist smokeless sales are chugging along with brisk sales. By Howard Riell, Associate Editor. Convenience stores have a significant opportunity to target consumers in overlapping tobacco segments, such as converting cigarette smokers over to moist snuff or cigars. Experts expect this group to increase moist smokeless

cciPanel

Driving Confectionery Sales With Seasonal Treats

Bite-sized products and king-sized bars are boosting ticket averages, while an influx of seasonal items offers convenience stores new profit potential. By Erin Rigik, Associate Editor.While single-serve chocolate and other candy remains solid at convenience stores, the industry is missing a big opportunity to capitalize on holiday and seasonal sales.The industry has long ceded this

Unleashing Your Inner Networker

By John Matthews, founder and president of Gray Cat Enterprises Inc. Come on, admit it. You wish you were a better networker. Fear not, it is time to unleash your inner networker. Networking is one part art and one part discipline and while there is more than one way to network, if your networking efforts

Menu Simplification: Maintaining Your Focus

By John Matthews, founder and president of Gray Cat Enterprises Inc. Foodservice operators have long wrestled with the challenge of balancing the demand for increased menu options by customers with that of menu simplification. While a focus on systems and procedures at quick-service restaurants (QSR’s) still drive most operations, these are often at odds with growing

Launching Your Gift Card Program

By John Matthews, founder and CEO of Gray Cat Enterprises Inc. Gift cards continue to grow leaps and bounds allowing retailers that have implemented a gift card program for their stores to reap vast benefits. In fact, total spending on gift cards in 2012 nearly reached $30 billion with around two-thirds of all American consumers having

Marketing To Kids

By John Matthews, founder and president of Gray Cat Enterprises Inc. “Oh, what a tangled web do parents weave, when they think that their children are naive.”  – Ogden Nash  Children have been marketed to for years. Retail industry titans have recognized that targeting children and winning their loyalty can carry on throughout their entire

The Art of Execution

By John Matthews, founder and president of Gray Cat Enterprises Inc. Operational excellence is a retail buzzword that often gets glossed over. Retailers talk the talk, but often miss on walking the walk. Operational excellence has a singular focus: the customer. The customer is treated as a privilege, not a right, and their patronage needs

Pilot Flying J To Settle Lawsuit for $72 Million

Pending a fairness hearing, the settlement would draw to a close a lawsuit brought by 10 trucking companies alleging fuel rebate fraud. Pilot Flying J is expected to settle the ongoing federal class action lawsuit over alleged fuel rebate fraud for $72 million, the Knoxville News Sentinel reported. On Nov. 25, 2013 a fairness healing

Flash Foods Launches Mobile App With Payment Option

Now customers can pay at the pump using their smartphone.  by Erin Rigik, associate editor. Flash Foods, with 172 locations in Georgia and Florida, has launched its first-ever mobile app that includes a mobile payment option for customers. The app offers a number of features, including a store locator complete with fuel prices for each

CITGO Marketers Support 8MBA

CITGO Petroleum, Barrick Enterprises and Knight Enterprises help fund revitalization efforts for Eight Mile Corridor. CITGO Petroleum Corp., along with local CITGO Marketers Barrick Enterprises and Knight Enterprises, came together to support the Eight Mile Boulevard Association’s (8MBA) ninth annual golf outing, held Sept. 20 at the Whispering Willows Golf Course in Livonia, Mich. The

This baking season, when consumers pick up a bag of Hershey's Semi-Sweet Baking Chips they will see a "Help Us Honor Heroes" burst with a QR code that takes consumers to the Wounded Warrior Project Eebsite where they can make a donation to support U.S. veterans.

Hershey Makes $100,000 Donation to Wounded Warrior Project

Participates in ‘Believe in Heroes’ Campaign. The Hershey Co. has announced a $100,000 donation to Wounded Warrior Project and its participation in the Believe in Heroes campaign. The donation will help support Wounded Warrior Project’s numerous programs, which are addressing the urgent needs of this generation’s injured service members. To promote the Believe in Heroes

MasterBilt

Fusion Plus Line

Master-Bilt introduces Fusion Plus line ENERGY STAR-qualified glass door merchandisers, coolers and freezers.  The Fusion Plus line expands Master-Bilt’s Fusion foodservice cabinet offering with a complete dealer line of glass door refrigerated and frozen merchandisers that includes swinging and glass doors.  These models offer the ultimate full-feature, price-value experience with a wide range of industry

FreshTrac

Ensure Coffee Freshness

The key to a well-executed coffee program is serving hot, fresh coffee cup after cup. Monitoring the holding time and amount of coffee in a dispenser is crucial to freshness and quality. To simplify this challenge Curtis is introducing the new Thermal FreshTrac System. Activated from the moment coffee is brewed, it provides a simple,

cookies

Soft-Baked Mini Cookies

General Mills is bringing a soft-texture cookie from a consumer-loved brand for placement in the pegged cookie set. Cookies, represent $576 million in sales, according to Total U.S. Convenience All Scan-IRI for the 52 Weeks Ended Jan. 27, 2013. Now retailers have an opportunity to boost sales by satisfying consumer demand for an indulgent snack.

DASANISparkling

Sparkling Water Beverage

Coca Cola Co introduces DASANI Sparkling Water Beverage—with water, a hint of flavor and bubbles. DASANI Sparkling is unsweetened, has zero calories, is lightly carbonated and infused with natural flavors. The new product offers crisp, clean refreshment at any time of the day. DASANI Sparkling comes in four great-tasting flavors: Lime, Lemon, Berry and Apple

hoshizaki

New Sandwich Top Refrigerators

Hoshizaki America Inc. has introduced two new sandwich top refrigerators—models CRMR60-8 and CRMR60-12. Retailers can select from 8, 12 and 16 pan capacity prep tables in the line of 60-inch Commercial Series Sandwich Top Refrigerators for their foodservice area. Hoshizaki refrigerators have a three-year parts and labor warranty and offer the following quality and performance

LuckyLeaf

Fruit Filling And Topping

According to a recent study by Nielsen Perishables Group, desserts accounted for nearly half of all bakery dollar sales in 2012. What’s more, pies had the strongest volume growth of 5.1%, with sales highest in November and December around the holidays. Chefs and foodservice professionals can tap into this incremental revenue opportunity with Knouse Foods’

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