RLC to examine what restaurants can learn from c-stores

If you view other restaurants as your competition, meet Howard Stoeckel. He’s eating your lunch, and you may not even realize it.

Stoeckel is CEO of Wawa, a Pennsylvania-based convenience-store chain whose foodservice offerings range from ciabatta melts to flat breads to a freshly made hot-turkey hoagie. If you prefer, you could have the hot turkey with gravy and mashed potatoes.

This, clearly, is not roller-dog territory.

Indeed, Wawa features the upscale fare that has turned c-stores into potent competitors of quick-service restaurants—even Starbucks, if you’re going bean to bean on coffee.

Wawa has also been a leader in foodservice technology. It was one of the first food sellers, in the restaurant channel or in c-stores—to use self-service ordering kiosks, which were adopted to boost order accuracy.

The rise of these potent contenders for the convenience customer is by all account a lasting aftereffect of the Great Recession, when value and saving gas at a one-stop facility took on added drawing power.

You can learn how Wawa did it during Stoeckel’s keynote address at the Restaurant Leadership Conference, “How C-stores view the foodservice challenge.”

He’ll be speaking about the regional chain’s approach to foodservice, and what it’s learned from the restaurant business.

He’ll also share some suggestions on what the restaurant business can learn from the foodservice initiatives of c-store chains like Wawa.

The invitation-only conference is scheduled for March 25-28 in Scottsdale, Ariz.

For more information, visit the RLC website.

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