The way Americans eat is changing. Consumers are eating more meals away from home, and eating out isn’t always a special occasion. But even when grabbing breakfast on the way to work, buying a snack between meetings or picking up a weeknight dinner, consumers expect fast service, fresh ingredients and a fair price.
Places that people turn to for on-the-go meals also are changing. Once considered a gastronomic last resort, prepared food from grocers and convenience stores is gaining popularity. More stores are emphasizing prepared food that includes fresh, healthy ingredients and on-trend flavors. Consumers are turning to these stores as an alternative to quickservice and fast-casual restaurants, sometimes even viewing them as a dining destination in their own right.
Several education sessions at this year’s National Restaurant Association Show addressed this change in the foodservice landscape. In a session titled “Convenience Stores’ Prepared Food Future,” Don Longo, editor-in-chief of Convenience Store News, and Joe Sheetz, executive vice president of the Sheetz convenience store chain, discussed how c-stores are stepping up their food and beverage offerings. (read more…)
In his keynote speech to NRA Show attendees Sunday, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz addressed the importance of balancing social responsibility and customer service with efforts to grow same-store sales.
Schultz first joined Starbucks in 1982, when the chain had only four stores. His dream was to create “the kind of company that our parents never got to work for,” he said. When the company went public in 1992 with 125 stores, it was the beginning of a long period of success for the coffee chain, during which “everything we touched turned to gold.” But speedy growth coupled with the nation’s unstable economy eventually led the company to put most of its efforts into growing same-store sales and stock prices. “The company began to measure and reward the wrong things,” Schultz said.
In 2008, Schultz gathered all of Starbucks’ store managers for a meeting in New Orleans, during which he laid out his plan to bring back the focus on strong customer service and community engagement on which the company had been founded. (read more…)
The Coca-Cola Company proudly sponsors this blog post and invites you to click here or visit our NRA Show exhibit (#4402) to learn more about how we can work together to make your business better!
The National Restaurant Association’s NRA Show in Chicago kicks off Saturday with an anticipated 58,000 attendees from all 50 states and 100 countries, and a trade show floor featuring an array of exhibitors showing off new products from more than 900 categories including beverage, food, uniforms, equipment and furniture.
The show’s four-day agenda includes a keynote from Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz and a talk and book signing with Anthony Bourdain, along with a slew of sessions and features aimed at addressing hot topics in the industry, including health care, sustainability and nutrition.
The Affordable Care Act puts health care on the front burner for restaurant companies as they navigate new rules and work to calculate the costs. (read more…)