The best c-stores open a window into the colorful food options of their localities.

Leading c-stores carry merchandise reflecting their areas. It’s not a surprise—if a c-store doing its job, its stocking the items that are popular in its region. In some cases, these items are part of a local tradition that was woven into the community before the store’s foundation was poured.

Food stands out the most. Across the globe, c-stores find themselves serving as curators of local epicurean traditions, watching their sales patterns to see what ignites the appetites of customers, say like Poutine in Montreal, eh? The appeal of that dish is largely Quebecois—for others . . . well, your mileage may vary:

 

  • USA Today presents a list of its 10 best local gas station food stops across the U.S.
  • Here’s a showcase of the interesting (strange) regional foods by state. Might we find some of these choices at c-stores? Very likely. Maybe we’ll journey to Minnesota for a chance to taste a sauerkraut pizza.
  • Are Italian autogrills another form of c-store? This author thinks so, and takes us through a tour of the regional cuisine available on the roads of Italy.
  • Here’s an article on the best convenience store snacks available in Mexico.
  • The great Korean convenience stores sell wonderful kimbap.
  • We’re not sure how many Czechs live in Texas, but Czech Stop hosts one of the country’s finest Czech restaurants in a c-store. That’s regional, kind of.

These fine foods may seem daunting in their variety, and perhaps even more daunting to consider as a c-store operator. There are definitely questions to ask. How do you make sure people really want this stuff? Will interest waver over time? And how do you keep track of profitability on complicated, multi-component recipe items?

No question there are challenges to the approach, but modern back office software and inventory management tools can give you a timely look at how new items are performing. Stay on top of their performance, and adjust accordingly. Are your local customers craving local favorites? Give us call at 1-800 927-7727. You’ll find out while food items may look radically different, they do contain commonalities that SSCS software can corral, organize, and manage for you.