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CAF Insider

  • C-Stores, Restaurants, and the Battle For Market Share

    The Competition: Restaurants

    As quick-service restaurants and convenience stores fight for foodservice dollars, fast-casual concepts hit all the right consumer notes

    There’s been some bad news for fast-food restaurants as of late. Formerly the king of the hill as far as breakfast is concerned, these operators are meeting increasingly fierce competition from c-stores. Continue reading

  • Spring Cleaning Tips

    Warm weather is just around the corner, and that means that customers are going to be out and about soon! It also means the time for spring cleaning has arrived--a chance to clean up after a cold winter and make the best customer experience.

    Did you know that cleaning outside will not only help your customers feel comfortable buying fuel outside your location, but make your location more inviting for them to buy food and other items inside? A good food court starts with a clean forecourt on the outside!

    We know cleaning can feel like a tough project. Don't know where to start? Don't sweat it. We put together a list of the top 5 areas to focus on:

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  • Clean Up Your Act

    I officially became a soccer mom this fall when my nine-year-old daughter earned a spot on the local travel soccer team. I was initially thrilled by her ability to make it onto such a competitive team—and then I realized that the “travel” in travel soccer team meant some long drives every weekend.

    Her first game took us to Summit Point, West Virginia, nearly a two-hour drive from Washington DC.  we were warned ahead of time about the lack of restrooms at the field and were encouraged to stop along the way for a bathroom break. So we did just that somewhere along Route 340, about 20 minutes from our destination.

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  • Case Study: Texas Petroleum Retailer

    As part of a new Customer Excellence initiative, a CAF customer headquartered in Texas discovered several opportunities to improve their customer experience, cleanliness scores on outdoors areas, and the frequency of pressure washing at their stores. These improvements helped save them significant operational cost in their cleaning efforts.

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  • Clean Smarter - Not Harder

    The status quo for convenience retailers has evolved over the years and having a dirty store exterior is no longer an option. You can’t afford to overlook cleanliness any longer because your customers aren’t. Unfortunately, many retailers understand this and are focused on being clean but have found that doing so can be very costly and very difficult to achieve real results.

    We have provided some ideas on how to save you time and money on the two most common challenges that you face in your forecourt cleaning efforts.

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  • How to Remove Oil stains from Concrete


    One of the most common questions from our customers is: How can I remove oil stains from my concrete? Although there are several claims to remove oil stains from concrete, there is only one that actually degrades the hydrocarbons where the others simply lift, absorb or move them.

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  • Customer Loyalty: Thinking Outside the Card

    Competition in the retail petroleum industry is stiff, especially if you are an Independent C-store Operator.   Lately, retailers have been turning to loyalty cards or similar programs to help. The problem is that these programs are expensive to maintain, hard to quantify, and won’t truly set you apart anymore.  The actual reasons why your customers might choose your store over the competition may come as a surprise to you.

    Did you know that loyalty and brand programs are NOT the #1 reason that your customers will choose to visit your location over another? Now we are not saying that loyalty programs, such as cards, are not valuable. We know they are, and when managed properly, they can be a great asset to a convenience store in growing sales and profit dollars. The issue that we are talking about is differentiating yourself from the “Big Box” retailer or the “Mom and Pop” store down the road from you doing the very same thing.  We are talking about giving your customers another reason to choose your location over theirs.

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  • Take More Crap from Your Customers


    Smart convenience retailers are focused on improving the customer experience at their store and many have turned to clean restrooms to do so. For some retailers, having clean restrooms has proven to be a key driver of in-store traffic.  This is important because getting more of your customers to come inside the store is a HUGE opportunity when you consider that 65% of your profit dollars come from in-store sales [NACS 2014]. But did you know that on average 46% of your fuel station customers never come into the store[NACS 2014]? That’s a lot of lost opportunity for additional sales and profit dollars!

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  • The Value of Clean

    See how cleaning can help improve your customer loyalty and save you money. Check it out!

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  • Take Action: Fight Back with the BIG Box Retailers


    Sam’s Club, Costco, Kroger, Wal-Mart: Does hearing these names make you feel sick to your stomach?  Maybe they make you feel a bit angry? Regardless of your feelings towards them, the fact is that they are taking your customers and your volume wherever they go. As the petroleum industry begins to see more and more of these “Big Boys” moving in (Wal-Mart just announced plans to open 2-5K fuel locations), C-store operators are left behind wondering how they can compete.

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