Jumpstart your convenience store food service by offering fresh, hot, and appealing breakfast items your customers can eat on the go.
You’ve probably heard that many people consider breakfast the most important meal of the day. And when time doesn’t allow customers to eat at home, they usually find a quick bite to eat at a convenience store or fast-food restaurant. Are you offering breakfast foods to attract these morning customers?
Best Bet: To succeed in the breakfast foodservice market, your convenience store must compete with fast food restaurants and competing c-stores. That means you’ll need to offer customers a variety of quality breakfast items, giving them fresh and creative choices that they can’t get anywhere else. Check out top tips next.
5 Easy Strategies to Expand Your Food Service Menu and Improve Sales:
- Make Foods Fresh — Breakfast sandwiches help lure customers to your hot foods section when they smell them cooking. Make English muffin, bagel, or panini sandwiches topped with a scrambled egg, cheese, meat or bacon bits, and caramelized onions. Offer healthy sandwich options that include cooked egg whites, low calorie cheese, avocado, lettuce, and tomato. Sandwiches made with fresh vegetables and hummus also make great options.
Don’t Miss: Fresh bakery items, like muffins, cookies, brownies, and donuts are also great choices for customers who want a quick breakfast to-go.
- Invest in Food Service Equipment – If you don’t have the right equipment to prepare foods and keep them hot, check out specific options for convenience store kitchens, like grills, griddles, and steamers. Flash steaming technology maintains the moisture, color, flavor, and texture of the fresh foods you sell. Antunes manufactures countertop cooking equipment for restaurants and offers different food service cooking options to convenience stores and gas stations.
- Give Innovative Choices — Provide your customers food options beyond traditional breakfast sandwiches to differentiate yourself from your competitors and drive repeat sales.
Examples: Breakfast tacos are a great start, filling warm tortillas with eggs, cheese, potatoes, tomatoes and topping with picante sauce. Breakfast pizzas can include eggs, cheese, and a variety of different vegetables. You can also use a steamer to provide a breakfast taco or pizza bar that includes options for eggs, meats, vegetables, and condiments. Offering hash browns with different toppings including caramelized onions, green pepper slices, mustard, apple sauce, and sour cream is another creative way to give customers many choices.
Top Tip: Offer fresh fruit as a stand-alone breakfast option (think mixed fruit cup) or as a side choice with a breakfast sandwich or breakfast taco.
- Make Foods Appealing — Customers are more apt to buy food that looks fresh, colorful, and tasty. Use see-through, multi-tiered display cases for fresh baked goods and entice customers to purchase. Place muffins and brownies in colorful paper or foil muffin cups. When foods sell, group remaining items together so your display case doesn’t look empty. Discard unsold food items if they become discolored or appear to be stale.
- Create Meal Deals for a Special Price — Spur additional sales by bundling breakfast items together with beverages and selling them for one bundle price. Correlate your c-store meal deals to specific days of the week or special occasions, like holidays.
Examples: Combine a breakfast sandwich or taco with hash browns, skillet potatoes, and coffee or other beverage. Offer fresh fruit with breakfast or fresh fruit as a breakfast entrée with yogurt and oatmeal. Offer a buy-one-get-one on muffins or donuts.
Secret: Although customers from many age groups will buy breakfast to-go, Antunes told us that Generation Xers (ages 41-56) and Millennials (ages 25-40) most frequently buy fresh convenience store breakfast items they can eat on the go. If you want to boost c-store sales from these age groups, offer more breakfast foods, and include in-store signage or stickers to make them aware of the healthy items you sell, highlighting your specials.
Bonus Tip: Besides selling fresh hot breakfast items, keep these other quick breakfast options in high-traffic areas and near your register to satisfy any hungry customer:
- Yogurt cups with fruit and/or oatmeal
- Yogurt smoothies
- Protein shakes
- Protein bars and fruit bars
- Breakfast pastries, danishes, and cinnamon rolls
Remember: Ask your customers what food options they want for breakfast and if they like the foods you currently serve. They can give you great feedback so you can offer them the most popular choices you know they’ll buy.
Bottom Line: Today’s customers want variety in breakfast and healthy food options. Petrosoft’s QwickServe® food service software enables you to customize your menu options, track your food inventory down to the smallest ingredients, and make it easier for you to offer foods that customers want.
Don’t Miss: Many customers now expect to place orders online and pick them up curbside, so if you don’t offer these options, QwickServe® Curbside Pickup gives your customers added convenience and peace of mind.