There was a time when convenience stores were convenient if you only wanted to fill up the tank or spend your last quarter playing Double Dragon after school. In the last few years, C-stores have seen their opportunities expand as they have seized the “on-the-go” approach most people seem to have these days for their everyday errands and seemingly their food purchases.
Today’s you’re as likely to find as many people stopping by a C-store for gourmet flatbread sandwiches prepared on-site as you would for lotto tickets.
This transition towards food prep brings with it new challenges that traditional foodservice operations have dealt with forever. The right equipment, designed with food prep and storage in mind and NSF-listed, are all part of the discussion when C-stores are now looking to expand their profitable food offerings.
Shelving is the foundation of safe food storage for any foodservice operation. Let’s review what impact the right shelving can have on a C-store.
What Makes C-Stores Unique
C-store designs include larger retail areas, which leave operators challenged trying to find space to store their bulk packages. A large percentage of what is stored is boxed or prepackaged. Having reliable, commercial-approved shelving is important in any foodservice operation but just as important is being able to maximize storage space, especially in convenience stores.
The Storage Challenges Convenience Stores Face
Convenience store operators often resort to non-foodservice, industrial type shelving units because they simply are not aware there is a better solution to help them maximize the limited space available to them. These industrial-type shelving units are not very easy to adjust, can be difficult to clean or do not offer the flexibility in sizes and options to help operators take advantage of every inch of free space available. They are also not approved for foodservice, which could lead to problems with the local health inspector.
Foodservice in C-stores Requires Shelving Made for Foodservice
The most important aspects are weight-bearing capacity/strength, flexibility, durability and ease of cleaning. C-Store operators need shelving that is going to hold up to the constant heavy loading and unloading of boxes. Shelving should offer flexibility to “build-up” vertically to free up floor space and the ability to add or adjust shelf levels to accommodate more boxes.
Cambro offers three shelving solutions for c-store operators. Camshelving is designed for any heavy applications, such as bulk storage of beverages as well as bag-in-a-box storage. Camshelving Elements shelving is perfect for dry storage but will also work well for cold storage of pre-packaged foods. Camshelving Basics shelving can be used for any disposables and chemical storage.
The Advantages of Cambro Shelving Solutions
- Functionality – This will be the biggest impact to a C-store operator: being able to fit more items in less space.
- Ease of Cleaning – Being able to clean by simply removing the shelf plates without interrupting storage space is a huge advantage. C-store operators can clean in sections and build this in to their weekly cleaning schedule without having to empty out the entire unit.
- Lifetime Warranty – The unique feature for all three Cambro shelving lines is that they are guaranteed to never rust. This is also going to help c-store operators do away with unnecessary, inconvenient and costly replacements.
- NSF listed – They are foodservice commercial approved, NSF Listed, so this will be important when the health inspector stops by and see that the store is in compliance and up to code.
It’s also important that the operator lean on the manufacturer for solutions that are tailored to their store layout. As part of our service, we will go into an operation and provide recommendations, measure the storage areas to help them improve and upgrade to a better solution specific to their needs. It also helps that we offer a life-time warranty against rust and corrosion. This gives operators the reassurance that we are going to stand behind our product.