C-Store operations best practices evolve with experience, technology and creativity. Retail competition is high. Therefore, smart owners and managers seek new ways to serve customers. Naturally, they want to provide new items that are desired. Obviously, they desire higher margins for higher convenience and value.

New products, faster service, cleaner shopping, home delivery, choices, and sometimes just simpler options are all included. Successful C-Store operations best practices make use of hot products as well as long term service excellence. Monitoring results, listening to customers and measuring ROI are all part of choosing the items of value.

In addition to great merchandise and service, operations have a direct impact on results. Operators that achieve high growth, stable margins and increasing loyalty operate well. Technology, management and training drive operations success. Best practices apply to technology selection. Of course, management is critical. Top performers have the same items as the bottom performers. Different cashiers in the same store have different outcomes. Stores are the same. Management and execution make a difference.

C-stores that thrive study best practices. They measure their results with POS scan data analytics and compare themselves internally and externally. The use of data is an objective way to find areas of strength. Of course, objective data will show weakness as well. The key is to know the actual status and focus energy on the priority work that drives sales and provides control.

Image of Five C-Store Operations Drivers and Impediments

Five C-Store Operations Drivers and Impediments

April 25, 2024 — 

The changes and competition in the convenience retail world demands strong operations. Building a brand, having loyal customers and establishing a strong community presence cannot be attained and sustained without reliable operations. The convenience business is about people: your customers and your staff. Your operations determine how well you deliver convenience through your staff to

Image of happy c-store staff. C-store staff retention is a big part of c-store operations ROI

Three Aspects of C-Store Operations ROI

July 16, 2023 — 

There are three main aspects of c-store operations ROI. C-Store operations have a virtually unlimited capacity to grow and attain on-going improvement. These results are evident with successful chains such as Casey’s, Kwik Trip, Wawa, Sheetz, and others. They show the power of great businesses that have both a strong operational system and the ability

Image of successful store with happy staff running the store. Managers forget numbers to fix problems. Once the problem is identified they work on the root cause with actions they can control. Focusing on strong operations is the main influence to improve store operations

Managers Forget the Numbers to Fix Problems

May 25, 2023 — 

Managers forget the numbers to fix problems. A store manager cannot make a customer buy anything. They can only address how the store operates. The key is store manager problem solving. They must manage staffing, stocking, inventory, finances, cleanliness, preparation and how the store operates. Their work directly influences the customer experience. Before they fix

Image of Don Longo of CSNews at the Food Service Exchange.

Ten Things I Learned at the CSNews Convenience Food Service Exchange

May 8, 2023 — 

The presenters at a recent food-service-focused-c-store conference provided a unique perspective on their successes. C-Store operations have already or may soon become primarily focused on food service. The presenters included a single store operator, several top 10 chains, investment bankers, leading vendors and leading consultants in the convenience space. Here are the ten things I

Image of store manager stretching and focusing. Store managers thrive when they practice the five keys to grow food sales.

Five Keys to Grow Food Sales

April 10, 2023 — 

Surveys of c-store managers identify five keys to grow food sales.  Food service is critical to the future success of most c-stores. A strong store manager can typically thrive in a store with great food offers as many of the jobs are the same as non-food stores. However, there are key differences. Preparing and supporting

Image of fresh pizza preparation for c-store food service. It is clear that there are five keys to grow food sales. C-store managers thrive when the keys are practiced well.

Management Keys for C-Store Food Service

February 5, 2023 — 

Management keys for c-store food service utilize existing store manager skills, but require a few important new skillsets to maximize results. C-store managers have a complex job and the demands on their skills continue to grow.  C-Store operations’ complexity has increased with a combination of new services, technology, marketing and staffing challenges. The expansion of

Image of ROI representing the concepts for store manager value. Store manager ROI strategy involves three components. Financial impact, store operations and leadership development drive the return on investment. C-Store Performance – ROI of Growth – How much profit from 1%?

Store Manager ROI Strategy

December 19, 2022 — 

Store manager ROI strategy involves three components. Financial impact, store operations and leadership development drive the return on investment. Overall chain health requires each store to provide value in three areas. The return provided to the chain is maximized when all three areas are addressed. That is, the store provides Financial return, Operates well Grows managers

image of a store manager that meets the key criteria for c-store success. Owners and operations leaders look for seven key things great c-store managers deliver to maximize their ROI on their store locations. 

Seven Key Things Great C-Store Managers Deliver

November 22, 2022 — 

Owners and operations leaders look for seven key things great c-store managers deliver to maximize their ROI on their store locations. In order to receive the desired c-store leadership, owners and operations leaders must provide the vision and mission. Store managers are responsible to hire, develop and encourage teamwork by building alignment with the purpose

image of Abigail Cerra who describes Abigail Cerra, ReFuel, share her experience regarding what she experienced as the keys to success for c-store loyalty systems.

7 Key Parts to C-Store Loyalty Systems

October 7, 2022 — 

Abigail Cerra, ReFuel, discusses 7 key parts to c-store loyalty systems. While the rollout of a loyalty system can be daunting, there are a set of things to consider that can be addressed to successfully achieve the customer loyalty implementation. Based on her experience of implementing several loyalty programs she identifies a few keys to

Image of Weigels store. C-store customer experience includes the store, the staff, the brand and the service.

Customer Experience Versus Service

September 22, 2022 — 

Customer experience versus service is the core concept address to maximize customer c-store relationships. In this multi-part series, we will take a dive into the importance of Customer Experience (CX) and how to deliver it to every customer that comes into our convenience store. It is the most important marketing tool there is in our

image of c-store manager doing yoga headstand as symbol to explain How c-store managers avoid overload is easy. Create high c-store retention: keep low c-store turnover by avoiding high staff stress le

How C-Store Managers Avoid Overload

August 29, 2022 — 

How c-store managers avoid overload is an important question for c-store chains. Many operators fear c-store manager burnout so much, they strictly limit changes that impact store managers. They even limit those changes that will make the store manager’s job easier. They often report there are just too many challenges with staffing, supply, regulations, and

Image of c-store manager taking time to listen to staff to build understanding, clarity and alignment. C-Store management questions CLEAR the air. Leaders maximize the value of questions by trusting, respecting and understanding their team.

C-Store Management Questions CLEAR the Air

July 31, 2022 — 

C-Store management questions CLEAR the air. Great managers use questions to build teamwork, develop new skills and avoid misunderstandings. Clarify problems Learn how your team thinks Encourage new thinking Appreciate staff knowledge and skill Respect your team Probing Questions Questions help to get answers and share information effectively. The goal of communication is to share