The Big Question: Terri Micklin, president, GetGo

The Big Question: Terri Micklin, president, GetGo

December 2023   minute read

What does it mean to be a food-first c-store?

At GetGo, food is part of our heritage. Being part of the Giant Eagle grocery store family, we started with local families that founded our company on the basis of bringing food to the local community. Food is in our DNA today. We’ve been able to unlock all of that heritage from the grocery and supermarket side and bring it into the convenience format in a new way that I don’t think that you get anywhere else in the industry.

Anything that you would find on a major supermarket shelf, we can turn that ingredient into one of our special release menu offers. You’re going to see a lot more of that coming up. We’ve got a great launch coming on a new chicken sandwich. We’re officially entering the chicken sandwich wars, and we’re going to have the same types of exciting chicken sandwiches that you’d normally see in the QSR space brought into the convenience environment, with some great sauces, also.

You need to meet the customer and think like the customer, all the time, and understand what they’re looking for. Most of our customers aren’t coming in looking for just the same item every day. What we’re trying to do is blend what we’re really good at delivering with the variety that the customer appreciates in that season. The seasonality piece is key.

For the Thanksgiving season, we’re featuring our Pilgrim sandwich, which is the classic Thanksgiving sandwich. But rather than delivering it in a traditional way, The Pilgrim is on a proprietary, fresh-baked-in-store stuffing bread. You can’t get this anywhere else. And we’ve applied this special touch with all our offerings. We really are well-known in our communities for our limited time offers. Then, we also have our consistent menu that runs underneath it, full of favorite items that people crave year-round.

One of the things that we’re thinking about differently now is how you create linkage by leveraging foodservice, our made-to-order food program, to highlight the other elements inside our store. You’ve seen this across the industry as companies partner with major brands for a specialized drink or a specialized menu item. We’re trying to create these ties that allow our customers to come in and explore the rest of the store through the kitchen environment.

That, I think, is the next big unlock in foodservice right now; how do you bridge the gap so that it’s not two separate businesses running inside the store, but one cohesive business, with foodservice and the other in-store offers playing off each other?

You have to refresh and innovate, continually. You have to be at it every year, really talking to your customer and understanding what they’re looking for and finding new ways to deliver that to them. Innovation happens every day.

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