C-store Retailers Get Taste of Austin at 2019 Convenience Store News Foodservice Summit
AUSTIN, Texas — New ideas, advice on getting ahead in the foodservice category and, of course, delicious food and drink flowed freely at the 2019 Convenience Store News Foodservice Summit, held April 16-18 in Austin.
Ten retailers from leading food-forward convenience store chains participated in the eighth-annual event, held in partnership with Tyson Convenience. The Summit is designed to foster innovation and the growth of fresh foodservice in the convenience store industry. This year's program included information-filled presentations, roundtable discussions and visits to some of Austin's top culinary destinations.
Bold flavors, freshness and authenticity were front and center at the various foodservice venues visited during the Foodservice Summit.
Day one of the event split attendees into multiple groups to dine at different full-service restaurants and speak with the staff about how they approach food and do unique things with ingredients.
The following day, a guided tour hosted by Austin Eats visited four sites where attendees got to sample highly local items for lunch. Later on, dinner was held at Vista Brewing, which grows its own produce, brews its own beer and maintains its own bee apiary.
On the third and final day of the event, lunch was held at the Fairgrounds Food Hall, which features six different counter-service restaurants in one space.
While the items sampled throughout the Summit ranged from Texas barbecue to Israeli street food to wildly creative dessert doughnuts, one thing that all the venues have in common is knowing what they want to be and striving to be the best version of that — rather than attempting to be everything to everybody and diluting their distinctiveness.
Many of the tour stops also made eating on-site an experience. Comfortable seating areas, with designs that often incorporate local Texan flora, invite customers to truly enjoy their time there instead of feeling pressure to eat and leave quickly.