The Grocerant niche is all about time as regular readers of this blog know and according to Steven Johnson Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions®. Fresh food fast is the mantra of those tasked with preparing dinner across the US according to Johnson.
Recently Sheetz Convenience stores turned to SMG's customized market intelligence tool BrandGeek to understand the thoughts and motivations of fuel- and food-focused convenience store customers compared to quick-service restaurant (QSR) customers. Behavioral data was captured from 12.7 million c-store visits and 15.8 million QSR visits in a 12-month period.
The overall review of the data showed that customers are far more satisfied at c-stores than at QSRs, and they rate their experiences even higher when they purchase both food and fuel. Additionally, food-focused c-store customers are "far more motivated" by speed of checkout and a past good experience, while fuel-focused customers are motivated by speed of checkout, a past good experience, and the selection of merchandise.
Restaurants need to retool and be aware that in-store sales are the largest growth area for the convenience store industry, and foodservice is the second-largest inside sales category behind tobacco, with double the growth margin, according the data.
The BrandGeek data highlighted that many of the c-store brands that over-index on speed of service are also known for their foodservice, including QuikTrip, Wawa and RaceTrac. The data also showed that even fresh, made-to-order food can cause consumer ratings to fall during the lunchtime hours due to slower speed, reflecting that it's worth the time and effort to focus on speed of service.
It is important to note that food-focused customers who have negative experiences are more likely to talk about inattentive store associates, overlong wait time, preparation errors or a lack of urgency.
When customers perceive a good attitude and helpfulness from associates and also experience speedy service, that's when they're most likely to return.
There is a battle for share of stomach brewing between fast food restaurants and convenience stores and the Price, Value, Service Equilibrium is continually redefined by consumers according to the Grocerant Guru®.
Invite Foodservice Solutions® to complete a Grocerant Program Assessment, Grocerant ScoreCard, or for product positioning or placement assistance, or call our Grocerant Guru®. Since 1991 www.FoodserviceSolutions.us of Tacoma, WA has been the global leader in the Grocerant niche. Contact: Steve@FoodserviceSolutions.us or 253-759-7869