Foodservice 301: Advanced Approaches

Best-in-class foodservice operators should be well entrenched in menu and nutrition labeling, especially those that also have their own commissaries. It is from these operators that the rest of the industry can learn about this important issue.

Over the past several years, this group has been removing trans fats, reducing sodium and carefully sourcing products to improve the nutritional profile of menu items. Indeed, the scariest part of menu labeling for the c-store industry and fast-feeders is how calorie dense many of the foods in fact are. That's why so many of them are fighting to innovate healthier foods and snacks that taste good as alternatives for those customers seeking more nutritious options.

Despite their usual leadership, however, only a few advanced foodservice operators in the c-store industry provide calorie ranges on their menu boards and/ or nutrition labels on food items prepared in their stores. Fewer still offer calories or nutrition information on their websites or at their touch-screen ordering kiosks if they have them — another important consumer touchpoint. Ideally, the customer would receive customized nutrition information based on the sandwich they build and/or the meal they order.

If the c-store industry gets out in front of this issue and promotes it to customers, perhaps it could shed some of its reputation as a purveyor of junk food.

Just as insurance companies target smokers and the government hones in on sellers of tobacco to pay for escalating health care costs associated with smoking, some experts predict obese members of society could face a similar fate, if they aren't already. If that is the case, purveyors of extremely high-calorie foods or foods with poor nutritional profiles will perhaps face sanctions to help cover the costs of rising health care costs associated with obesity.

And how would obese consumers react? They will be forced to focus on healthier eating and weight loss. The c-store industry could win by serving both masters — the calorie conscious striving to lose weight and those who can eat everything and gain virtually no weight at all.

The opportunity is the c-store industry's to seize.

HOT TIPS

  • Stay ahead of the government on this issue and be proactive.
  • Lead the industry and show other retailers the way; the more operators that adopt nutrition labeling, the better it will be for the entire industry.
  • View calorie and nutrition labeling as an opportunity to educate customers so they can make better food choices.

On just one process, we're saving over 30 hours a week

No, you're not seeing things. It's a beaver. Known for its witty, buck-toothed mascot and uncommonly clean stores, Buc-ee's began implementing PDI/Enterprise in 2005. The results that followed were undeniable.

PDI's revolutionary business management software fully integrated the Texas chain's entire operation, dramatically improving data integrity from the site-level to the corporate office. But that was only the beginning. PDI/Enterprise also automated Buc-ee's daily reconciliations process, taking its period close from four days to a few hours. In addition, PDI's user-defined import profiles enabled the company to automatically import vendor statements, EFT remittances, and nearly every type of invoice imaginable. In fact, fuel invoicing alone, which previously required the attention of a fulltime person, is done in minutes a day. Now that's Doing Business Electronically!

For nearly three decades, PDI has been dedicated to providing software and service solutions that produce the results our customers deserve. We'll bring that same unwavering commitment to your company. Take Buc-ee the beaver's advice, and give PDI a whistle.

"Automating reconciliations was just the beginning. With PDI, we've eliminated most manual entries."

— Buc-ee's

CSNews’ How To Do World-Class Foodservice report is researched and written by Maureen Azzato, a freelance content developer and editor with more than 20 years of business publishing experience, with a primary focus on foodservice and retailing. Previously she was the founding publisher and editorial director of On-the-Go Foodservice, a publication for cross-channel retail foodservice executives, and publisher and editorial director of Convenience Store News, where she worked for 17 years.

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