interview with the slurpee

CSD lands the interview of the year- an exclusive with one of 7-Eleven’s coolest personalities: the Slurpee. Turning 40 this year hasn’t slowed down this icy icon. CSD: First of all, we’re big fans. How do you prefer to be addressed— Mr. Slurpee, Big Slurp, the Slurpster? Slurpee: Slurpee is fine. And I appreciate the

up the creek

Open Pantry Food Marts of Wisconsin continues to pour more of itself into the gourmet coffee business. Recently, the chain put a dynamic new face on its stores by focusing on its Willow Creek Coffee offer . While the new store design has been implemented at only seven of the chain

fresh pressure

Casey’s and CJ’s don’t skimp when it comes to offering fresh pizza. Dedicated labor and attention to detail keep these programs profitable. Easy doesn’t necessarily mean better. That’s the view of Casey’s General Stores(Ankeny, IA) when it comes to foodservice. With more than 1,300 corporate-ownedstores and 19 franchised stores covering nine Midwest states, the company

lots of opportunity

Labeled “cannibalistic” by some, drive-thru coffee kiosks on c-store lots can perk up in-store java sales. Over the past 11 years, more than 70 of Montanabased Mountain Mudd’ssignature green 8′ by 8′ drive-thru kiosks have popped up in parking lots spanning21 states, and founder Brenda Burkhartsmeier has plans to take over the nationalNo. 2 niche

chevron gets roasted

When Chevron Corp. (San Ramon, CA) wanted to upgrade the gourmet coffee offerat its ExtraMile Convenience Stores, it went north of the border to tap Canadianroaster Van Houtte to do the brews for a pilot program in the Seattle market.Since May, 43 ExtraMile units in the area have been featuring Van Houtte brandedcoffee stations. The

dinner and a movie

By the end of the year, Redbox intends to have more than 1,000 of its DVD-dispensing kiosks in the U.S., most of them in McDonald

premium pizza minimum labor

In an effort to better serve the convenience store market, Giorgio Foods Inc. (www.giorgio foods.com) has introduced a new pizza program that uses premium ingredients to provide pizzeria-quality pizza with minimal preparation required from store employees. Two styles of pizza are available: pre-baked or traditional. Depending on the style and cooking technique, fresh pizza can

coffee beyond singleserve

Retailers selling coffee by the cup might be missing the boat. Even though many convenience retailers are completely capable of selling coffee in to-go carafes or “box” packages, they willingly forfeit those sales to specialty coffee retailers, according to Gary Allanson, president and CEO of International Dispensing Corp. (www.idcdispensing.com). “One of the trends we’ve been

serving the upper crust

Not many convenience stores serve Salad Nioise (Albacore tuna withbaby greens, tomatoes, haricot verts, potatoes, hard boiled eggs, anchoviesand nioise olives with a citrus vinaigrette) or Egg Florentine (classicegg salad with parmesan and spinach on a buttery croissant) as part of theirprepared foods offers. Not many convenience stores offer wine tastings and canapsat the bar

7eleven goes functional

7-Eleven Inc. (Dallas, TX) now offers in its stores Formula 7

working with a net

Meticulous vendor selection and an intense focus on proper rotation comprise some of the measures retailers take to build fortresses around their food programs. With great power comes great responsibility. So said "Uncle Ben" Parkerto his web-slinging nephew Peter in the 2002 summer smash Spider-Man. Asimilar maxim applies to convenience retailers in the food business:

open pantrys golden egg

Open Pantry Food Marts used its coffee program as the centerpiece for its new bistro-like stores. It’s been so successful that now the company is set to open its own standalone coffee shops. Bubba has always been Open Pantry Food Marts of Wisconsin’s bread andbutter. But if it was going to attract female customers ages

a revolution in portability

Looking for a unique foodservice offer that requires minimal labor and comes with its own edible package? A new company founded by food designer and consultant Nir Adar offers "the first real food innovation since sliced bread." While living in New York, Adar saw how people wrestled with enormous pizza slices and wondered if there

portion potions

America is a nation of dashboard diners. But Americans are taking a more sensible approach to eating on the go, realizing the need to balance convenience with healthy eating, according to On-The-Go Eating: Consumer Mindsets, Menu Trends and Product/Packaging Innovations, a new report from market researcher Packaged Facts. Key trends covered in the report include

coffee better than sex

Some people would sooner swear off "nookie" than give up their morning cup of coffee, according to new research commissioned by Dunkin' Donuts. The donut and coffee chain surveyed close to 1,200 customers (ages 18 to 49) across the country to find that 42% of coffee drinkers say that coffee is a more important or

the key to consistency

When a particular category— say, foodservice—accounts for almost 12% of the industry’s total inside sales (which it did last year, per the National Association of Convenience Stores’ State of the Industry report), retailers will work to control it as much as possible. In fact, retailers have spent millions of dollars and man-hours to add cost

clicking for bargains

Looking to rediscover a long-lost childhood toy and pick up a new roller grill at half the cost? Point your mouse to eBay.com Only five weeks elapsed from the day Raymond Hall decided to open his own restaurant to the day he had all the equipment he needed to operate his Riverside Deli in in

valeros got a brand new bag

Valero expects customers to munch as many as 1.5 million bags of its new Fresh For years Valero Energy Corp. has offered a proprietary line of sandwichesunder several brand names. Two years ago it took a step into the bottled watercategory with three packages of spring water under its Fresh Choices label.Its most recent proprietary

deliverance

Pizza delivery didn’t work out as expected for this small Carolina chain. Mike and Brad Woodie were probably the type of kids who weren’t afraidto fall off their bicycles. The two—president and vice president, respectively,of Woodie’s (Charlotte, NC)—looked at the neighborhood around their newestWoodie’s store in uptown Charlotte and saw loads of high-rise apartments, condosand

something to cluck about

Any fresh chicken program requires dedication, but see how a little ingenuity earned these retailers recognition and, oh yeah, thousands of dollars in chicken sales per week. By Kate Quackenbush, Managing Editor Despite their obvious size differences, 170-store Fas Mart Convenience Stores,23-store Johnson Oil and single-store operator One Stop Convenience Store allhave one thing in

effortless eats

A gourmet sandwich program gives Kwik Chek added food sales and additional menu items without adding labor. For a company whose foodservice strategy started out as “fry it, box it and hope they buy it,” Kwik Chek Food Stores (Bonham, TX) has come a long way. About 12 years ago Kwik Chek realized it had

making over mainway

Irving Oil’s Mainway stores make way for BLUECANOE, an uncommon concept driven by best-in-class service, an intense focus on fresh foods and a unique sense of humor. People don’t pay much attention to washroom signs. But at IrvingOil’s new Bluecanoe stores, the signs are tough to ignore. Tim Guen, senior brand manager for the Portsmouth,

fired up

Barbecuing brisket wasn’t anywhere on Rudolph Aue’s agenda in 1929, when heopened his one-pump country store in the tiny community of Leon Springs, TX,just a few miles west of San Antonio. In fact, it wasn’t until 60 years later,when Aue sold the operation, that the pit was first lit. The buyer was restaurateur Phil Romano,

in the q

Anchored by Starbucks and other powerful food brands, Canadian Tire’s ’Q’ concept could have a dramatic effect on the retailing landscape north of the border. Canadian Tire Petroleum has sold gasoline since 1958, but even the company’s president will admit that its traditional convenience store offer has been less than imaginative—until recently. Canadian Tire Petroleum’s

casework

Rotisserie chicken. Cold sandwiches. Pizza. Fresh fruit. Display cases boost the sales potential of any food item. Display cases hold and merchandise products effectively and offer customers a quick showing of the operator’s menu selections. The idea is to give Mr. Customer the opportunity to view the retailer’s fare—and increase the likelihood of him making

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