A convenience store pizza oven is likely the most functional yet overlooked piece of equipment in c-store pizza programs.
Since its primary purpose is to bake pizza, there’s understandably not a lot of thought about the oven beyond it reaching appropriate temperatures.
However, if you don’t consider how your oven impacts the customer experience across your c-store locations, you could wind up getting burned.
Customers notice — and care about — consistency in how c-stores fulfill their expectations. Routinely meet their standards, and you’ll likely be rewarded with loyalty.
What does this have to do with your convenience store pizza oven? Everything.
The pizza a customer picks up at your location nearest their home needs to match the quality of the one they bought two weeks ago at your store across town. A well-managed c-store program will ensure the combo of appearance and ingredients is as expected. The crust everything sits atop should also deliver the same texture and taste — which could fall short if oven types differ between stores.
Even if everything about your pizza ingredients and prep are identical in each location, oven variation could easily throw off bake times, coloring, texture, and other crust characteristics. The result? Under-performing pizza.
Choosing to standardize ovens across stores is undoubtedly an investment, but one worth making. Why? Minimizing the risk of pizza disparity makes customers happy.
Similarly, oven standardization maximizes customer acquisition and retention efforts — and that could lead to more money in your pocket. A 5% increase in customer retention can increase profits by as much as 125%1, so upfront costs are balanced by long-term profitability.
But, what if budgets or buildings don’t allow for convenience store pizza oven standardization? Are operators simply left to assume the risk that pizza inconsistency presents? Absolutely not.
Pizza Crust Solutions
Perhaps oven standardization isn’t in your immediate future. Working toward that goal requires some strategic decisions about the pizza crusts you use in the interim.
The partnership you have with your dough manufacturer is pivotal. Leaning on their expertise and guidance is the surest way to properly align crusts and ovens that work best together. Further, a trusted partner like Alive & Kickin’ Pizza Crust has broad product lines and customization capabilities to suit almost any need.
Par-baked crusts are particularly popular. Their versatility helps c-stores with multiple oven types stay ahead of potential pizza inconsistencies.
Par-baked crusts are also ideal for c-store pizza programs because they are easy to handle, prep, and use for ready to eat, take and bake, and frozen options. Staff at all of your locations can easily create the pizza — and experience — customers want and love.
Given their potential impact on your business, convenience store pizza ovens are far from an afterthought. Careful consideration must be given to which ovens offer the best solution for crust performance and customer experience consistency across locations. Learn how the two work together in our guide, Which Crusts Work Best in Your Pizza Operation’s Oven? Click the button below to download your copy now.
1Stamp Me, What is the Value of a Loyal Customer?, February 6, 2020