West Coast Needs The Benefit Of Fresh Foods
On my visits to 7-Eleven stores throughout the country, I usually spend an extended period of time focusing on the fast food, grill items and hot foods in our stores. After all, SEI repeatedly tells us that foodservice is to become the core of our business, and I like to see how we are stacking up.
So far I’ve noticed that our East Coast stores are moving full steam ahead with this program. The impression you get when you walk into one of these stores is that you are entering a foodservice business, as evidenced by the elaborate presentation of the hot food case, which is complimented by the grill and the fresh food case with the fresh sandwiches and other items.
The foodservice program on the West Coast, on the other hand, is off to a slower start. Although the franchisees are doing a good job in executing the program, there is concern about the limited selection of fresh and hot food products, the lack of regularly-introduced new items, and the lack of interest the program generates when the customer sees the same items day-in and day-out.
It is plain to me that SEI is more invested in the foodservice program on the East Coast than on the West. On the West Coast, even accompanying products like salads and cheese snacks are not up to the standards that we see on the East Coast.
The fact is customers often come into our stores to purchase new items. They don’t want the same thing week after week. We have tried packaged salads on the West Coast, and they have been sub par. On the East Coast, the salads are freshly made and are more attractive and appealing to the customer. SEI needs to become more engaged with the foodservice program on the West Coast to help those stores increase sales. We need to rethink the fresh and hot foods selection, and rework it. West Coast stores currently lack the customer appeal that East Coast stores have, and that is actually driving some customers to the competition.
In this day with the economy being what it is, we need to meet or exceed our customer’s expectations, especially when compared to our competition. The time to act is now, and to move forward we need to consider many factors. At the core of our slots online australia business are young adults, but we also have a lot of moms that come in with children in the morning. We need to have fresh and hot food items that appeal to all these demographics so they will keep coming back to our stores.
I strongly believe SEI should consider a “Sandwich of the Month” program, with the selected sandwich sold at a reduced retail price. The fresh and hot foods selection needs to be revisited frequently. I believe our franchisees need to be involved and have input on the foodservice program. I think implementing these changes would put us on equal footing with the competition.
My personal observation is that presently the stores on the East Coast are more advanced in the foodservice program than the stores on the West Coast, and I would imagine that the East Coast stores are driving high sales because of it. The East Coast stores have cheese slices and fruit cups. They have celery and carrot sticks that are individually packaged under the 7-Eleven label. The West Coast stores have Del Monte items, but the selection is limited. The West Coast, simply put, is not up to the standards of the East Coast when it comes to foodservice.
I think it’s great that East Coast franchisees are fully engaged in this program. They are aggressive in ordering items and merchandising the fresh and hot foods that are appealing and inviting to the customer. But my hope is that this will be the model for all of our stores throughout the country.