The convenience store market has continued to grow and larger players are opening new stores with more and more options for customers. Some of these new stores are amazing and somewhat intimidating for an independent owner. How can you possibly compete?
You could try to have all the same amenities but most likely your stores would end up being a jumbled mess of offerings with your employees more and more confused and stressed which will manifest itself in the customer experience in your store being less than stellar.
Adding to the difficulty is hiring new employees. We all know it can be difficult to find and hire employees that are excited to work at your store. But once you do find them they can quickly become overloaded with the complexity and stresses of trying to run all of the “conveniences” you need to offer just to stay competitive and before you know it, the new hire has had the excitement and enthusiasm (trained) right out of them. So what can you do????
Well, the obvious choice is to remove stress at your store. This can be done by removing some of your offerings. I’m sure there’s one or two that could be removed without the majority of your customers being affected. Another way to remove stress is to simplify existing offerings. This brings us to the question we first asked about hot food sales at your store.
Fully prepared sandwiches aren’t too difficult to heat and place in a merchandiser. There’s stress in making sure a few varieties are available at the right times, but reheating sandwiches is pretty straight forward. Roller grills aren’t an overly labor intensive offering, and once again the customer does most of the work.
Pizza is very different. If you make your own pizza you already know how much room it takes. Then you have to worry about the portioning. It all looks great on paper and a spreadsheet, but when the ladle hits the crust it’s all in the interpretation of the pizza artist to determine what’s the right amount of cheese and toppings. There’s the worry about waste in a slice that doesn’t sell, but you have that whether you make your own or cook off a fully prepared pizza. And how about the cost of the employee making the pizza? You might think you’re making those pizzas with existing employees so the labor cost is the same, but that brings us back to the “cost” of stress. It’s hard to quantify but added stress in your employees needing to make all these pizzas can add up to lost dollars at your register by just one regular customer deciding to go somewhere else next time because there’s kind of a stressful vibe at your convenience store.
If you choose to buy a fully prepared pizza, make sure you buy a really good one. There’s no such thing as a pizza that starts out the cheapest ending up being the most delicious one after it’s cooked and is sitting in the warmer. At Giovanni’s Frozen Pizza, we take pride in making premium frozen pizzas that you will be proud to serve in your store. For over 30 years, Giovanni’s has been known for our (one of a kind) sauce and our authentic Italian sausage recipe as well as our fresh shredded cheese blends, and finest ingredients. Contact us and see if we deliver in your area, or if one of our distributor partners can be of service. Once again, the less expensive pizzas look great on paper and a spreadsheet, but then again, your customers don’t want to eat a spreadsheet… they want a great slice of pizza and a clerk that takes their money with a smile, and very little stress.