C-Stores Keep Cool with Hoshizaki
Q&A with Jon O’Hern, Distribution Center Operations Director
Are drinks still a major profit center for convenience stores?
Jon O'Hern: Drinks — including coffee, tea and fountain drinks — have been and continue to be a large profit center for convenience stores. This can be observed by their continual growth of beverage options. Typically, there is more profit in dispensed beverages over packaged, which is why it makes sense to have more options.
What trends are we seeing in c-store drinks?
JO: Continued growth in beverage options for the consumer. This includes additional coffee flavors, and a broader variety of fountain drink options with the introduction of "flavor shots," teas, juices and sparkling waters. There is also a trend toward offering multiple ice types. This includes the traditional crescent cube ice, with more stores incorporating the cubelet "chewable" ice as well. This goes well with some of the hand-crafted coffees and smoothies now being offered by some chains.
How have sandwiches and other food items changed in the c-store?
JO: The "old standard" prepackaged sandwiches provided by a third party are still available; however, they are quicklybeing replaced by fresh sandwiches made on location and, in many cases, "made to order." The menu is not limited to sandwiches either — many other options have been added to the c-store menu such as pizza, wraps and salads. A recent survey of Millennials showed that they rate c-store foodservice as same quality of food as QSRs.
How can Hoshizaki help c-stores serve food more profitably?
JO: Hoshizaki foodservice equipment excels in performance, durability and reliability.
For example, our ice machines produce more ice using less energy — an operation savings. We offer a variety of ice types from crescent cube to chewable, so customers are happy. Our refrigerators and prep tables have features to maximize temperature control and keep food safe — saving on food and labor costs. Dispensed drinks and freshly prepared foods have a higher profit margin than their prepackaged counterparts have, and are therefore a smart choice for c-store owners.
C-Store Favorites from Hoshizaki
- The KMD-530M_H, Modular Crescent Cuber (for crescent ice) and the FD-1002MAJ-C (for cubelet ice) both produce ice consistently and dependably to keep customers' drinks deliciously chilled. These modular models are easily mounted on most major beverage dispensers. The undercounter F-330BAJ-C Ice Maker is great for smoothie stations. It produces up to 288 lbs. of ice daily.
- For sandwich or salad prep, the CRMR48-12 two-section refrigerated prep table features a stainless steel interior and exterior. It's backed by a three-year warranty on the entire machine and a five-year warranty on the compressor.
- Where space is tight, call on the CRMR27-LP undercounter refrigerator to keep things cool. Its low-profile design features a net storage capacity of 6.22 cubic ft. and is perfect for storing drinks, salads or sandwiches.
- Keep an eye out for Hoshizaki's new line of glass door merchandisers, coming soon in 10, 26, 45 and 49 cubic ft. capacities.