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Why Offering Breakfast is a Winning Strategy for Gas Station Management

Why Offering Breakfast is a Winning Strategy for Gas Station Management

Previously, we’ve discussed how a growing number of Americans are using food selection as a factor in choosing their gas station. Now, let’s hone in on the most important meal of the day: breakfast!  An important part of gas station management is reading the trends in the industry, and this is one that is gaining steam quickly!

Fresh and pre-made breakfast items are selling like, well, hotcakes! Many commuters are already purchasing coffee from their favorite gas station on the way to work; these customers are prime targets for breakfast food items as well.

If your store is already breaking into fresh food items, or pre-made food items, consider breakfast choices as well. Not only will customers find this a welcomed convenient side to their coffee order, but it may surprise you with how popular it can be.

Everyone Else is Doing It

At the risk of throwing some peer pressure out there, breakfast choices are already a hot commodity. In fact, it seems as if every facet of food providers is jumping on the most important meal of the day. McDonald’s, one of the first fast food breakfast purveyors, has finally begun offering certain breakfast items all day, while unusual competing chains, such as Subway and Taco Bell, have launched their own efforts.

Breakfast food items are easily translatable to fast, efficient delivery methods such as breakfast burritos or sandwiches so there’s no wondering why the fast food industry has jumped on board and you can too!

The Demand is in Place

The one good thing about hearing how many chains are entering the breakfast arena is that the demand is clearly there. In fact, a study by Kellogg  Co., one of the biggest names in breakfast around, found that 47% of consumers who purchase coffee out wish that they had the option of hot breakfast items as well.

Simply put: the demand is in place and you don’t have to go far to find customers who are interested in pairing that coffee with a hot egg sandwich, breakfast burrito, or even baked goods.

Which Items are Best?

The same study by Kellogg Co. recorded that, among other survey answers, some of the top reasons for buying breakfast items is that customers wanted fast dining choices, they needed a little something extra to hold them over, and that they needed something to snack on as they shopped.

Breakfast items, then, should be relatively easy to eat, contain smaller packaging, and something that is ready for purchase. Tyson Foodservice has been expanding their sandwich choices, especially after their own research has shown that their spicier sandwiches have been experiencing a 48% boost in sales since 2011. So, don’t be afraid to offer up some heat!

Handheld is Better

Everyone loves cereal and milk, but that would obviously be difficult to eat in traffic. Overwhelmingly, breakfast sandwich choices are the ideal way to eat on the go. Fresh made food is also preferred, as more Americans are becoming more health conscious about their eating decisions.

Clark’s Pump n’ Shop began offering made to order breakfast sandwiches, which now makes up over half of their food sales! Fresher is always better, and Clark’s can customize every order.

Sure, not every gas station can add a kitchen and a breakfast counter, however there are other ways to accommodate the trend:

  • Pre-made breakfast sandwiches, burritos, and wraps are easily held in a hot case
  • Similar pre-made items are available frozen, and are easily cooked in a microwave.
  • Partner with a local bakery to serve fresh, locally made muffins, donuts, or pastries

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Plan for Success

Despite the growth in food sales, Clark’s did suffer a minor setback in terms of food preparation costs. It took some experimentation, but they were finally able to find the best balance of offerings and production costs. By keeping the menu small, with only a small variety of breakfast meats, they could control their margins better.

Using proper gas station management software, like CStorePro, you can easily determine your margins with accurate profit and loss statements, daily reporting, and more; while our price book management feature makes it easy to add new items, adjust existing items, or run promotions. Want to see how? Schedule a Free Demo today so speak with one of our experts.

Don’t forget about those coffee drinkers: go after them by pairing their morning caffeine fix with a breakfast sandwich, or freshly baked pastry.

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