Speedy Café Turns Convenience into Delicious with Freshly Made Food Options
Several Speedway locations have evolved into much more than just a convenience store. Speedy Café is a fast casual, full-serve restaurant where customers place their orders on a self-serve ordering kiosk and the food is freshly prepared while they continue to shop and pay for their purchases. Traditional convenience stores, including Speedway, offer made-to-stock or pre-packaged food (roller grill products, sandwiches, subs/wedges and sliced pizza) served out of self-serve warmers or deli cases. The menu at a Speedy Café is much larger, offering paninis, subs, specialty dogs, customizable pizzas, handcrafted beverages (lattes, mochas, smoothies and frappes), breakfast sandwiches and sides. The customer gets fresher food, and less food is wasted.
Speedy Café’s slogan, “made fresh for you,” summarizes the distinct difference in food a customer will get at a Speedy Café. “While our traditional convenience store food is good, our Speedy Café food is comparable to some of the better fast casual restaurants in the market,” explains Randy Scott, manager, foodservice concepts for Speedway. “Even our pizza is made to order, while you wait, making it as fresh as possible.”
Since the first Speedy Café opened in 2010, consumer feedback has been very positive. “They like the quality, value, and breadth of menu. Many are surprised by how good the food is and they comment on how much more convenient it is to be able to get a good meal while buying their gas and other convenience items at the same time – in one convenient location,” says Scott.
When building or remodeling a Speedway store, an evaluation is performed to determine if the location will include a Speedy Café. The number of homes and food establishments near the store, the working population as well as the proximity to an interstate are all considered. So far, Speedy Café growth has been focused in Pennsylvania and Tennessee, where Speedway continues to grow. There are currently 96 Speedy Café stores in Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, Indiana, Pennsylvania, Illinois and Michigan.
According to Scott, the dominant food platform within Speedway remains grab-and-go service. “While this platform offers an expanded selection of made-to-stock and pre-packaged foods, we have designed the grab-and-go platform so that we can flip it to a Speedy Café if needed.”
Speedway takes extra steps when it launches a Speedy Café at a new location by utilizing a six-week ambassador program to aid in the switch. Wearing a special identifying shirt, the ambassador is dedicated to helping customers, giving away coupons to try items in the café and helping them navigate the touchscreen ordering system.
Because not every Speedway location has a Speedy Café, a special logo was created to help identify locations that do. According to Scott, this will greatly enhance brand awareness.
The foodservice team at Speedway is continuing to look at ways to improve the customer experience. They constantly survey the market, both inside and outside of the convenience store industry, to find new products and methods to deliver the freshest product to their customers. “We are committed to the customer experience and the success and growth of Speedy Café and all of our foodservice options within Speedway,” adds Scott.