CSNews Exclusive: Sheetz Bros. Kitchen in Full Operation

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CSNews Exclusive: Sheetz Bros. Kitchen in Full Operation

By Linda Lisanti

ALTOONA, Pa. -- Sheetz Inc. recently completed the rollout of Sheetz Bros. Kitchen, with all 353 of the chain’s convenience stores now being serviced with daily delivery of products made at the 140,000-square-foot central commissary in Claysburg, Pa.

Originally, Sheetz expected all the stores to be serviced by Sheetz Bros. Kitchen by Jan. 1 of this year, but the rollout was delayed. Chainwide delivery became a reality last month, Louie Sheetz, vice president of marketing, told CSNews Online.

"In our initial projections, we bit off more than we could chew. We thought we could gear up from zero to 350 stores in five months, but it was more than we could digest. So, we said ‘let’s spread it out,’ and that plan worked well for us," he explained.

The $46 million Sheetz Bros. Kitchen, which officially opened in July, created two new businesses for the convenience retailer—MTGo! and Shweetz Bakery. The MTGo! line offers grab-and-go sandwiches, salads and yogurt parfaits, while the Shweetz Bakery line includes doughnuts, cookies, muffins, cinnamon rolls, biscuits, and sub, hamburger and hot dog rolls. Products from both lines are made at the facility and shipped fresh daily.

As CSNews Online reported at the time of the opening, Sheetz Bros. Kitchen emerged from the company’s desire to simplify tasks for its store employees, which in turn would allow them more time to focus on improving customer service. "Filling condiment bottles, baking sub rolls and cookies, and prepping of other ingredients is time consuming," the retailer stated. "By moving these tasks to the kitchen facility, we make the in-store routine easier and free up our employees to be out front serving customers."

According to Sheetz’ original projections, each store by 2014 is expected to generate $1,000 in sales and $300 in gross profits per day from Sheetz Bros. Kitchen. The project is not yet hitting the company’s early projections, Louie Sheetz said, but is still doing well.

"We’re very happy with it so far," he added.

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