By: Chad Dewberry | Product Director and Bridget Halpain | Category Manager

The face of foodservice continues to evolve as we maneuver through this pandemic. The key to maintaining success in this category is to quickly acclimate to the safety regulations as they pertain to cleanliness and social distancing, while aligning product offerings with available supply. Cleanliness has always been a requirement for a successful foodservice program but COVID-19 has changed what clean means for thousands of consumers. One of the earliest trends to emerge this summer was active cleaning. Employees are much more visible when cleaning in restaurants and retail locations. While more frequent cleaning is needed to help stop the spread of bacteria, it also helps create a positive perception of a business’s overall cleanliness and execution. Consumer trust will be critical for any c-store location implementing a foodservice program. 

Many retailers have used the last few months to revamp their foodservice selection through SKU rationalization. This process has brought focus back to the top selling items, eliminated waste, and allowed for some profitability, even with the decline in foot traffic. Many of McLane’s customers are digging into the data to understand which SKUs are their top performers and which SKUs are driving spoils. The Center for Category Innovation located in Temple, Texas is a great place to start any planogram reset. Please contact your McLane Sales Teammate to learn more about this process.

Consumer trends show a desire for fully packaged food items. A transition from open roller grills to warmers has proven successful for many McLane customers. If you are looking for new sneeze guards for your roller grill, heated merchandising cases or plexiglass register shields, head over to www.mclanekitchen.com and check out our equipment options powered by Food Concepts, Inc.

Supplier cuts are lessening, roller grills are turning, fountains are dispensing, and hot beverage bars are brewing once again across the country. The warmer light may have dimmed for a short period of time within the foodservice category, but we are now seeing a much brighter light at the end of this tunnel.