SAC Convenience Stores have been in the chicken business for 19 years – but when Joe Faretta came to the company just over two years ago, he felt there was more opportunity for expansion. After switching from a competitor seven months ago, SAC has now launched four Champs Chicken locations.
We recently spoke with Joe Faretta on why he decided to switch to Champs Chicken, and what results he’s seen so far.
“The best thing about the PFSbrands team, is that when we opened four stores in one week, no one ever looked at their watch. They stayed – and I kid you not – morning, noon and night to do the training. Our Business Advisor is by far one of the best trainers I’ve ever worked with in my 26 years in the business.” – Joe Faretta
BY THE NUMBERS
Since starting Champs Chicken seven months ago...
- Chicken sales are up 28.6%
- 36% of their business is in chicken tenders
- Breakfast program has seen a 42% increase
- 16% of their business is done from their cold Grab & Go case
CHALLENGES FACED & CHAMPS CHICKEN SOLUTIONS
#1 - Marketing Support. One of the biggest problems running a chain store was marketing. After coming to SAC Convenience Stores a few years ago, Joe Faretta found several difficulties in signage, labeling and keeping up with FDA Regulations.
SAC Convenience Stores utilized a variety of marketing tools to help promote their Champs Chicken program, including:
- MDF Funds:
Joe Faretta uses his Marketing Development Funds (MDF) for: staff t-shirts, sweatshirts, advertising, billboards, posters, and window signage. All SAC Convenience Store employees wear apparel with both the SAC logo and Champs Chicken logo, as well as aprons, hats and chef coats for Champs Chicken servers.
“Making people look professional is good advertising and it also shows professionalism and cleanliness of the employee.” – Joe Faretta
With the help of the PFSbrands marketing team, SAC Convenience Stores created catering business cards and went around to local business to promote their catering program. To support their community, they've also hosted thank you events for their local firemen and state police force. At each catering event, they ensure to display Champs Chicken signage with their table skirts, handouts, and team apparel.
“Word of mouth is the best advertising. [For our thank you events,] I don’t charge them a fee, because if you want them to get in the door to try it, then hopefully you gain a customer you didn’t have before.” – Joe Faretta
#2 - Inventory Control. SAC Convenience Stores needed help prioritizing food products to focus on. Additionally, due to no dedicated storage space for dry goods (such as signage and labels), items were being displaced and forgotten.
“Champs Chicken has educated me to ‘sell what you do best.’ I’m the one that thought you had to carry 80 items, but [our new strategy] has really started to make its dividends.” – Joe Faretta
- SAC Convenience Stores have taken out 18 items in the last 12 months – including pizza and hot dogs – and eliminated roller grills completely. In these foods, Joe doesn’t have a way to compare the sales vs. the waste, unlike the items in the Champs Chicken program through the Menu Development System.
- Under the guidance of his Business Advisor, Joe created a 6-ft storage space within each store for dry good storage. He found that because these items were stored all over the store, they would often get lost, displaced or forgotten.
#3 - Profitability. SAC Convenience Stores was in need of a profitable program that would truly deliver results to their overall store sales.
- SAC Convenience Stores implemented the Champs Chicken breakfast program and have seen a 42% increase in sales in seven months. As Joe believes, “If you can win ‘em in breakfast, you can win ‘em all day.”
- SAC also implemented the Cold Case program to take advantage of reusing leftover products each day. Finding special success with truckers and college students, their cold case grab & go program is the perfect option for a customer coming in for cold chicken. According to Joe, 16% of their business is done from their Cold Grab & Go case.
#4 - Training/Labor. SAC needed assistance in developing labor schedules and accessing training resources, especially to train the younger employees.
“I’ve had people ask me, ‘what about the labor?’ You don’t worry about labor, the labor will take care of itself through the training [resources], the ability to adjust it, and the power behind the POS systems.” – Joe Faretta
- With the help of the Order Management System (POS tablet and People Counter technology), SAC Convenience Stores have been able to use real data to determine what time of day the highest percentage of their business occurs in order to develop a labor schedule that reflects busier and lighter times.
- Additionally, the Communication Tablet (ComTab), stock full of training videos and downloadable resources, is in every one of SAC Convenience Stores' locations to train all employees.
LEARN MORE ABOUT JOE FARETTA: