Grand Opening: Ricker's Builds 'The Right Store'

Consistent branding, customer needs shape new Ricker's site

By  Quinn Ricker, President & CEO, Ricker Oil

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Let’s get back to the store layout and foodservice. Our new store is pretty typical of what you see in our industry. It has a nice fountain offering, FUB, FCB, etc. We have a really great store-within-a-store coffee offer and deli sandwiches. Indiana is not allowed to have cold beer, but we have built this store to have a beer cave if the laws change.

The bathrooms have touchless Bradley sinks. The soap, water and hand dryer are all built into the sink, so we’ll have no more walls with mold on them because the dryer sprays all the water from hands onto the floor and wall. Restrooms are very important to us because we didn’t want to get our foodservice offer ahead of our bathrooms.

This store was also built with the capacity to expand into other offers when they are ready. At the moment, this store does not offer foodservice. Ricker’s is in the final stages of finishing our proprietary foodservice offer. It is called AhhBurritos, and it will offer burritos, quesadillas and salads customized to the customer’s preference.

Take the best of Chipotle, Subway, Taco Bell and mix them together, and you have AhhBurritos. We decided to test this offer in a food truck that we have traveling all over Indianapolis. We are using the food truck to nail down flavor profiles, processes, customer desires and future store sites where the offer may work. We are close, but it is too early to place it in the stores. We would rather give the customer the experience that we know is right instead of trying to force an offer that may not be completely ready.

We built this store to have options. We know we are going to get our food program right; as a result, the store is designed so that the current checkout area can become foodservice. To free up the space, we will install an island checkout. This isn’t the perfect scenario. But our newest designs will have foodservice from the beginning, with the offer in line with the checkout area for operational efficiency.

I want every store Ricker’s builds to be the perfect store for its market. This quest at times drives me crazy. What keeps me from checking into a mental institution is knowing that it is not ultimately about the design, marketing, merchandising, etc. The perfect store is about the people inside it. How we take care of our people and what opportunities we provide them will directly correlate to how our customers do business with us. Our people make the perfect store.

Quinn Ricker is president and CEO of Ricker Oil Co. (Ricker’s). Reach him at qricker@rickers.net.

 

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