Single Store Owner

DEC 2016

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FOODSERVICE 28 / Convenience Store News for the Single Store Owner / DECEMBER 2016 Prepared Food / Hot, Cold, Frozen Dispensed Beverages Foodservice 301: Call to Action Counter the "job hopping" trend by engaging your employ- ees. Make them feel appreciated, challenged, and that they are keys to your store's overall success. Encourage your best employees to make a career in retail. Communicating clear and consistent expectations is key to maximizing productivity and consistency in a single- store operation. because there are seemingly so few skilled people seeking employment. "The concepts of 'the brand' and 'the store' are critical," advised How To Crew member Nancy Caldarola, PhD, RD, a management dietician with Roswell, Ga.-based Food Training Group and director of hospitality, restaurant and tourism management at Gwinnett Technical College in Lawrenceville, Ga. " People want to work for compa- nies that are 'kewl.' Frequent customers sometimes become great employees. But there is a fine line that separates a good hire from a bad hire, and it usually has to do with the type of interview conducted and questions asked." While it may be standard operating procedure to offer minimum wage to most new hires, it's impor- tant for a single-store operator to understand that by doing so, his or her store is, by default, competing with every other business in the area for available talent. In order to resolve this conundrum, How To Crew panelist Dean Dirks, CEO of Gig Harbor, Wash.-based Dirks & Associates, suggests that an owner promote the store's culture and values. According to Dirks, the hardest part of the hiring process is making a decision. "I always look at [the candidate's] job history. If they had a few tenures that lasted just two or three months, that's a red flag," he noted. Drug and background checks can also ward off many problems before they occur. And while the larger chains may have the upper- hand in offering career advancement, single-store owners have cards to play — especially when it comes to foodservice. "A single-store owner can be flexible," offered Powell of Q1 Consulting . " If something isn't working, you can make a change on the fly. Keep- ing up on the needs and desires of your customers is a huge advantage in competing with larger- format competition." SSO in order for single-store owners to justify paying their foodservice employees top dollar, they need to roughly double the industry sales standard — in the neighborhood of 30 percent to 40 percent. However, he pointed out that the one thing talented people like is challenge. Thus, one viable option for a single-store opera- tor might be to hire an assistant general manager working for a restaurant chain. "Because chains/ franchises are so tightly regulated, the opportunity to run the ship may be appealing," said Mandeltort. He provided some words of caution, though, for store owners: Don't let the biggest obstacle to success in the hiring process be you. " If you are able to hire a smart foodservice person, get out of the way," advised Mandeltort. "If you have no experience in foodservice, listen to the people that do." Another viable option that a single-store owner might consider is offering a compensation program that is heavily weighted on performance bonuses. Understand Your Brand When interviewing candidates, single-store own- ers need to focus specifically on the applicant's foodservice background and capabilities. "Are they able to work within the constraints of the c-store foodservice world?" posed Mandeltort. "Just because the cuisine is relatively simple, people should not be fooled into believing that c-store food- service is simple and easy. It's actually an incredibly complex environment with lots of challenges." In today's marketplace, many single-store owners struggle to find qualified foodservice candidates David Bishop / Balvor LLC Joseph Bona / MoseleyBona Retail Ed Burcher / Burcher Consulting Nancy Caldarola / Food Training Group Joseph Chiovera / XS Foodservice & Marketing Tom Cook / King-Casey Jack W. Cushman / CST Brands Inc. Dean Dirks / Dirks & Associates Ryan Krebs / Rutter's Farm Stores Mathew Mandeltort / Eby-Brown Co. LLC Larry Miller / Miller Management & Consulting Services Tim Powell / Q1 Consulting Chad Prast / Murphy USA Inc. Holly Veale / McLane Co. Inc. OUR HOW TO CREW

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