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The Best Last Mile Fulfillment Options for C-Store Pizza Programs

February 17 2021 by Nick Charles

Last Mile Fulfillment for C-Store Pizza ProgramsCustomers continue to adapt their purchase and service expectations to fit the new normal of a pandemic-defined world. A surge in online and remote ordering has emphasized the importance of last mile fulfillment — that critical time when ordered items are delivered to the customer. How and how well that piece of the experience is handled often drives customer satisfaction.

For retailers, suppliers, and manufacturers, an oversimplified definition of last mile fulfillment is a delivery route driver dropping off an order on a dock or at a residence. For c-store pizza programs, last mile fulfillment carves out opportunities for customers to safely place mobile orders and pick up pizza on-premises.

Operators who leverage the popular combination of technology and customer service can elevate their c-store pizza programs in the minds and preferences of customers — meaning more pizza sales and higher profits.

Maybe you’re part of the 68% of North America-based c-store operators who adopted last mile fulfillment early on in response to the pandemic.* Maybe you’re just now considering rolling out the service in your c-store pizza program. Either way, results from the NACS Research & Technology Last Mile Fulfillment in Convenience Retail study suggests there are plenty of opportunities to leverage as last mile fulfillment gains momentum in c-stores.

Off-Premise Delivery May Not Be On-Target

More customers are opting for home delivery as a measure of both caution and convenience. It stands to reason that c-store operations without designated delivery hire a third party service to fill the need, or even rely on existing c-store staff:

NACS bar chart of delivery parties used by convenience retail

Source: NACS Research & Technology Last Mile Fulfillment in Convenience Retail study

Off-premise delivery may be a viable option for your c-store pizza program, but the partnership may not be exactly what you bargained for. High fees, data sharing complications, and the extra responsibilities placed on staff may erode value — all reasons that only 61% of convenience retailers are satisfied with third-party delivery.* Add to it the risk of customer dissatisfaction, and off-premise delivery may be off the table for your c-store’s last mile fulfillment.

A First Look at Last Mile Fulfillment Options

Pizza delivery is a well-established practice throughout the country if not the world, but it’s not the only possible solution for your c-store pizza program’s last mile fulfillment.

NACS bar chart of last mile fulfillment service options for convenience retailers

Source: NACS Research & Technology Last Mile Fulfillment in Convenience Retail study 

Mobile orders for in-store pickup is the most frequent last mile fulfillment service currently offered.* As such, NACS points to several solutions built around mobile ordering that c-store operators are incorporating into their programs:

  • 65% offer call-in/app ordering for in-store pickup*
  • 36% offer mobile ordering for curbside pickup*
  • 15% offer mobile ordering for drive-thru pickup*

The NACS data also points to two prime opportunities that c-store operators are either underutilizing or overlooking what could be a boon for pizza programs:

  • 11% offer order at the gas pump for in-store pickup*
  • 8% offer order at the gas pump for delivery to the car*

Both of these services are poised for serious growth as an increasing percentage of operators — 34% and 20% respectively* — intend to add them to their last mile fulfillment options in the coming year.* Getting on-board with some type of pumpside service could really fuel pizza sales at your c-store.

Serve Up Quality With Par-baked Pizza Crusts

Even the best last mile fulfillment service can’t spare customers the disappointment of poor quality pizza.

That’s why Alive & Kickin’ is the preferred pizza crust partner for so many c-store operations. Our par-baked pizza crusts are great fits for c-store pizza programs offering fresh and/or frozen pizza. Their “baked bread” characteristics make them appealing to customers, and their long hold times, easy handling, and many styles, textures, and tastes make par-baked crusts a hit with your staff. 

Keep your c-store pizza program top of mind with loyal — and new — customers when you combine stellar last mile fulfillment with Alive & Kickin’ par-baked pizza crusts. Read Par-baked Pizza Crusts: 4 Key Benefits for C-Stores to explore the possibilities! Click the button below to download your copy of this valuable guide now.

Par-Baked Pizza Crusts for C-Stores


*NACS Research & Technology Last Mile Fulfillment in Convenience Retail study

Categories: C-Stores

Nick Charles

Written by Nick Charles

President, Alive & Kickin' Pizza Crust
Nick has been in the pizza dough business for more than 20 years. He heads up the company’s customer development and service (making sure they’re always happy with our product and our processes) and manages the overall business. It’s a big job, and he’s the right guy to do it!