Forecourt Trader
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Top of the class

30 January, 2009
Our specialist category winners show their style
Page 26 
== Best food-to-go outlet - sponsored by Bake & Bite ==
Tates Spar Battlefield, Shropshire, won this award for its outstanding food-to-go section.According to Stephen Clifford, Country Choice marketing controller, food-to-go in forecourts is continuing to grow. He adds: "Hot food is particularly important with forecourt shoppers - they are three times more likely to buy hot food than c-store shoppers. The key aspects of running a successful food-to-go operation are availability, choice, quality and a fast, effective, delivery system. Make sure staff prepare food little and often to ensure availability and reduce wastage."Store manager Sharon Stanley, who has taken over from previous manager David Hammond (pictured), says food-to-go is the main focus with breakfast baps popular with early morning customers. Also winner of Best Main Route site (oil company/supermarket-owned/managed).== Best forecourt facilities - sponsored by Gilbarco Veeder-Root ==The modern Budgens Nailsea site near Bristol is run by Philip and Lesley Tout.A recent rebuild, it has two busy WashTec rollover car washes, a jet wash and valeting facilities.Owner Philip Tout says there are often queues of people waiting to use the car washes, and the site also has a Codax terminal for customers to pay by cash or credit card.Judges were looking for sites with a good range of facilities on the forecourt which were fully operational and well-maintained.Particular attention was given to pumps that were clean, tidy and working - with each grade properly signposted and priced. Consideration was also given to additional services provided such as pay-at-pump, ATM, public phone and post box. Also winner of Best Independent with nine sites or less as well as Forecourt Trader of the Year 2008.== Best hot beverages outlet - sponsored by Simply Coffee ==The hot beverages offer at Chanterlands Service Station, Hull, has only been in operation for eight months but it really stands out from the crowd.Simply Coffee managing director Jason McNally says customers want espresso-based drinks and the fixture should be near the till. It is also important to use the correct banners and pavement signs positioned for maximum impact, to offer value-for-money, and also to keep the area clean. McNally explains: "The hungry, thirsty customer will shop with their eyes, so keep it clean and fresh!"Site owner Patrick Sewell says the coffee area is a focal point for customers. It also offers tea, hot chocolate and muffins and has two price bands for coffee, a smaller cup at £1.29 and larger cup at £1.79. Patrick adds: "People will pay for a nice cup of coffee but it's got to be worth the money."Also winner of Best Tobacco Merchandising.