October 30, 2017
When it comes to the most important meal of the day, competition is stiff. Although many convenience stores have evolved and expanded their breakfast offerings, so have QSRs, fast-casuals, and coffee shops. McDonald’s offers breakfast all day, Starbucks has expanded their line of sandwiches, and according to QSR Magazine, 40% of Dunkin’ Donuts’ morning sales come from food.
That’s why it’s vital to stand out. Having observed and enjoyed the breakfast offerings at gas stations across the United States, here are four strategies to do just that.
1. Think outside the box. It’s tempting to emphasize traditional and familiar breakfast offerings at the expense of new ideas, that strategy can sometimes be a mistake. “Guests grow tired of seeing the same products month after month,” said Michael Elliot, RaceTrac’s category manager of hot foods, in the February 2017 issue of NACS Magazine. “Featuring unique, new offers give us something to invite our guests to try.”
Consider Pilot Flying J’s recent “town hall” event—where truck drivers recommended that they offer different meat on breakfast sandwiches than bacon and pork sausage. Pilot Flying J is taking these and other suggestions seriously, and celebrity chef Tim Love is helping them improve and upgrade their offerings.
Kum & Go also has options for those who want something different than a traditional biscuit or croissant sandwich. Health-conscious customers can purchase a 260 calorie egg-white, turkey sausage, and cheese sandwich, and those who want something more indulgent can enjoy a breaded chicken sandwich with Belgian waffle buns.
Other brands offer a wide range of options beyond sandwiches. Smoothies are a popular choice at GetGo, and QuickChek has an expansive menu with items like the West Coast Veggie Burrito—which includes egg whites, avocado, salsa, and shredded cheddar and pepper jack.