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Using Technology & Added-Value Services to Gain Share of Stomach

Strategic loyalty programs can help a retailer tell its foodservice story.
convenience store customer loyalty

There was a time when few people would consider grabbing a meal at a convenience store. We have all heard the jokes about gas station food, right? However, during my 11-year tenure with Convenience Store News, I have seen that change.

From Wawa Inc. moving beyond its popular hoagies menu into pasta, quesadillas and more, to 7-Eleven Inc.'s multiple proprietary foodservice concepts like Laredo Taco Co. and Raise the Roost Chicken and Biscuits, the food offerings across the convenience channel have become increasingly more appetizing. In fact, did you know that Casey's General Stores Inc. is the fifth largest pizza chain in the United States?

But this isn't just about foodservice. It's also about technology and added-value services as c-stores increasingly compete against traditional restaurants for share of stomach. Sure, mobile ordering and delivery help in that fight, but convenience retailers also shouldn't overlook the tried-and-true loyalty program.

How can a loyalty program help boost foodservice? Glad you asked. It can be the perfect platform to trial new offerings or limited-time items. It can give members an incentive to try products again through rewards and personalized offers. And it can act as marketing tool to help a retailer tell its food story.

If the dog is man's best friend, then a good, strategic loyalty program can be a convenience foodservice retailer's best friend.

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