Single Store Owner

APR 2016

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foodservice 34 / Convenience Store News for the Single Store Owner / APRIL 2016 Prepared Food / Hot, Cold, Frozen Dispensed Beverages attract female consumers. At the same time, bold and sweet flavors such as bubble gum and root beer float are proving popular with teens. "Variety is very important," said Prast. "Blue, red and cola flavors will usually make up 80 percent of sales, but after that, the more flavors you can add, the more sales you will bring in. It also helps with in-and-out flavors to keep things exciting." Choosing the right frozen beverage dispenser for your store can be difficult because they differ signifi- cantly from cold beverage dispensers. "This is tougher than fountain," agreed Prast. "Frozen machines have a lot of maintenance is- sues, so it is very important to do the homework and choose one that has a good service agree- ment. The most frustrating thing for a customer is to come in for a frozen drink and find the machine is down for maintenance." In terms of frozen beverage cup sizes, Prast once again suggests three as the default. "The best option of all is if you can use your fountain cups for frozen. It reduces SKUs and helps the stores with storage space in tight or smaller locations," he noted. As for pricing, one How To Crew expert recom- mends c-store retailers run their frozen dispensed operation the old-fashioned way — by the num- bers. "Determine your cost per ounce of product, then calculate the end price including the cost of each size cup, lid, straw and number of ounces per cup," said Miller. And don't forget to factor in so- called "hidden costs" such as water, electricity, and investment in new equipment or depreciation of older dispensers. "Then, calculate how many units you must sell to get a return on your investment," he continued. "Compare your retails to the competi- tion and decide whether to price your products roughly the same, higher or lower. If you charge more, make sure to promote why it's worth more to your customers." SSO wave that cuts shrink to almost nothing and allows fresh coffee each time." Commercial applications using concentrated liquid coffee promise to become more widespread, Miller observed. "That's because each cup is made with precise measurements just before it is dis- pensed into the cup," he said. "The quality is con- sistent, and the heating is consistent. That controls costs, reduces shrinkage and significantly improves on savings — and ultimately, profitability." Miller also sees the state of automated espresso, latte and other specialty beverages improving as well, as these products, too, can be made from liquid concentrate. As for cup sizes, Prast suggests offering three options. This number not only will produce decent rings, but also allows a retailer to price and/or cross-promote the smaller size. "Some c-stores offer four sizes — 12-, 16-, 20- and 24-ounce," continued Prast. "That's not necessar- ily bad, but it can add complexity to the store if you have storage space issues." What serving sizes you choose to offer is also dependent on what geographic area you serve. "In the North, hot cups between 20 and 30 ounces seem to be the norm," said Miller. "In the South, huge cup sizes — up to 44 ounces, and even 60 ounces or more — are popular, both in disposables as well as in refillable mugs for all dispensed bever- age programs." Frozen Tundra Today's trends in frozen beverages, like cold dispensed beverages, skew toward "better-for- you" consumption. This includes products such as green tea and pomegranate, which also help Foodservice 301: Call to Action If possible, purchase your dispensing equipment. If you are selling 100 cups of dispensed beverages per day, this will definitely cover your costs. If you have to lease because of financial considerations, do so from an equipment leasing company, not a bottler. This will allow you to control what products go in your dispens- ers. If you lease from a bottler, you are locked into their proprietary offerings. Always offer as much variety and flexibility as possible to your customers. Having available Pepsi, Coke, Dr Pep- per, 7UP, Mountain Dew, as well as any brands or flavors currently in vogue in your local area, gives a c-store a huge advantage over the competition — especially QSRs. David Bishop / Balvor LLC Joseph Bona / MoseleyBona Retail Ed Burcher / Coen Markets Joseph Chiovera / XS Foodservice & Marketing Tom Cook / King-Casey Jack W. Cushman / CST Brands Inc. Dean Dirks / Dirks & Associates Eric Giandelone / Mintel Foodservice Ryan Krebs / Rutter's Farm Stores Mathew Mandeltort / Eby-Brown Co. LLC Larry Miller / Miller Management & Consulting Services Tim Powell / Q1 Productions Chad Prast / Murphy USA Inc. Holly Veale / McLane Co. Inc. Our HOW TO CreW

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