Convenience Store News - December 2017 - 52

FOODSERVICE

Prepared Food + Hot, Cold, Frozen Dispensed Beverages

Getting to the Source

Convenience store retailers have a surplus of options for
foodservice sourcing, but what does it take to find the right mix?
By Angela Hanson

W

ith foodservice becoming more and more
vital to the convenience store industry, the
decision to enter the category or enhance
an existing program is likely a wise one - but it's
only the first decision in a series. Another that quickly
follows is where and how to source that foodservice
program, as retailers can choose from traditional
foodservice distributors, broadline distributors or
local sources.
How should retailers weigh the pros and cons
and decide which to go with?
Step one is to decide what the foodservice
program should be. This decision should not
be taken lightly, according to members of
Convenience Store News' Foodservice
Advisory Council.
"You've got to come
up with a concept
that fits into

your skillset," said
Foodservice Advisory
Council member Jack
Cushman, foodservice director
for Circle K Stores. The skillset can come from existing employees, or a new hire who possesses the needed
knowledge and experience.
Cushman noted that establishing a concept isn't
just about the financial and practical aspects of creating a foodservice program; it also serves a competitive
purpose. Consumers typically make impulse purchases

52 Convenience Store News | DECEMBER 2017 | WWW.CSNEWS.COM

at c-stores and transforming into a foodservice destination will only be more difficult if a c-store offers the
same selection as most other c-stores.
"You have to have a point of differentiation," he said.
"To have that, you have to have a concept."
Having a solid sense of your short- and long-term
goals, as well as a realistic understanding of
your current capabilities, will provide
a solid foundation for deciding
who to partner with for
foodservice sourcing -
although it can still be a
complex decision.
Broadline distributors,
such as McLane and EbyBrown, have a deeper understanding of the convenience
market than companies whose
expertise lies more with restaurants, but traditional foodservice
distributors, such as Sysco, offer a
broader range of chefs, recipes and
suppliers for retailers to work with.
"Operators need to consider what
their program will look like in the beginning and what they hope it will look
like in one year, three years and five years," said
Chad Dewberry, category manager at McLane and a
CSNews Foodservice Advisory Council member.
STAY LOCAL OR GO BROAD?

Experts recommend that convenience foodservice
beginners turn to local sources because these companies frequently have lower order minimums, better
delivery schedules, and better case counts or a willingness to split case counts. C-stores that work with
broadline distributors may also find local companies to
be helpful as a supplement for specialty items.
"You're going to be more important to them initially,
regardless of chain size," said Larry Miller, president of


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Convenience Store News - December 2017

Contents
Convenience Store News - December 2017 - Cover1
Convenience Store News - December 2017 - Cover2
Convenience Store News - December 2017 - 3
Convenience Store News - December 2017 - 4
Convenience Store News - December 2017 - 5
Convenience Store News - December 2017 - Contents
Convenience Store News - December 2017 - 7
Convenience Store News - December 2017 - 8
Convenience Store News - December 2017 - 9
Convenience Store News - December 2017 - 10
Convenience Store News - December 2017 - 11
Convenience Store News - December 2017 - 12
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Convenience Store News - December 2017 - Cover3
Convenience Store News - December 2017 - Cover4
Convenience Store News - December 2017 - U1
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