beverage aisle

Beverages — The Foundation Of Foodservice

  • Fresh Coffee Program Development
    October 10, 2016

    Beverages — The Foundation Of Foodservice

    The foodservice category is a keystone for today’s c-stores.

    The National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS) just released its State of the Industry (SOI) information for 2006. It revealed that 26% of the average store’s merchandise gross margin came from foodservice.

    The real question for you is what is going to anchor your foodservice offer. b2b Solutions advises its client to build their foodservice offer on a foundation of foodservice beverages. Our rationale is twofold.  First, 53% of the gross profit of foodservice profit came from foodservice beverage. Second, if a retailer cannot provide a quality foodservice beverage offer, then they have little chance of success for food made on site.

    Here are 7 things you need to think about /ask yourself to determine if you provide a quality foodservice beverage offer:

    1. Think Restaurant

    • Remember c-store clean does not equal restaurant clean!
    • Cleanliness must start on the outside of your store and extend throughout the store.
    • Would you buy a drink from QSR if their counter area looked like yours?
    • Would buy food in a restaurant if your employee was your waiter?
    • Restroom condition and cleanliness become even more important

    2. Location, Location, Location

    • Can a customer see your foodservice beverage or foodservice area upon entering the store?
    • Is it a focal point of the store or hidden away?
    • Is it signed?
    • It is designed to allow customers to have sufficient space to “fix” their purchase?
    • Does the flow have the customer headed towards the counter at the end of the purchase process?

    3. Water

    • It is the basic ingredient for your foodservice beverages
    • Do you have a filtered source for your water? Ice?
    • If so, when was the last time you changed the filters?
    • Is your cold dispensed water pre-chilled?

    4. Ice

    • Would your family drink water from that ice bucket you use?
    • Do you have dedicated ice makers?
    • Can you produce both crushed and cube ice?

    5. Equipment

    • Does it match you projected volume?
    • Does your fountain offer so many heads that the product goes stale before it’s sold.
    • Do you check the syrup/water mix (brix) on a daily basis?
    • Can a fountain customer customize their drink?
    • Do you offer dual colas?
    • Does your coffee dispensing system match your operational capabilities?
    • Does your coffee brewing and holding capacities match your volume?

    6. Cup set

    • What types of cups are you providing?
    • Do they place you at a competitive advantage or disadvantage in the marketplace?
    • Are you offering the sizes the market requires?

    7. Promotion/Pricing

    • What are you doing to entice trial?
    • How are you ensuring continued interest in your beverage offer?
    • How are you priced versus you competitors?


    Foodservice is something that c-stores retailers need to do, but we have never found a retailer who was truly successful with foodservice that did not have a sound foundation of foodservice beverages. Beverages are a destination driver for c-stores and not an ancillary sale as they are for QSR’s. If you cannot answer the questions above in a positive manner, then we suggest that you address them before attempting made-on-site foodservice.