Friday, September 22, 2023

Casey's General Store Technology Solutions Make Us Better


Casey's General Stores continues looking a customer ahead entering into new technology partnerships that will reduce ‘pain-points’ for both customers and employees according to Steven Johnson Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions®. Casey’s is upgrading its foodservice program with two new technology solutions that will streamline operations and while adding convenience to the ordering process.

Casey’s first partnered with Jolt to implement a digital food label content distribution and printing platform across its network. The digital food labeling system generates printed labels on demand, eliminating inventory management for dozens of pre-printed label SKUs, while the label content distribution platform manages label changes at the distribution center or corporate level, automatically updating labels across all stores without the costs of pre-printed label inventory.

Brad Haga, senior vice president, prepared food and dispensed beverage, for Casey's, stated, "Jolt's digital labeling system has transformed the labeling process in our kitchens as we continue to modernize operations. It allows us to quickly and efficiently adapt to any recipe or label changes, helping us to simplify the operation of our kitchens for our hardworking team members," ... "Working with Jolt has been fantastic — they're a valued partner in our pursuit of efficiency and growth."

The flexibility of Jolt's label content design and distribution technology enables large foodservice providers to quickly respond to changing recipes, nutrition facts and FDA requirements, the company said in a press release.

Jolt CEO Josh Bird, stated, "Working with Casey's to deliver and install over 2,500 label printing stations in under 11 weeks was amazing. We couldn't have asked for a better partner, and look forward to future collaboration on technology that makes their operation even more efficient ".

Casey’s then launched a system-wide rollout of AVA (Automated Voice Assistant), a conversational artificial intelligence voice ordering system powered by SYNQ3 Restaurant Solutions' SYNQ Voice technology. AVA enhances the ordering experience for customers by answering every call, providing convenient reorder options and processing new orders in a natural conversational interaction.

The c-store chain first initiated a test with SYNQ3 in late 2022 to align with its three-year strategic plan to accelerate the off-premise food business and enhance operational efficiency.

Sanjeev Satturu, chief information officer at Casey's, stated, "We are excited to partner with SYNQ3 to give our team members more time to focus on our guests and operating our stores," …. "We are committed to reducing friction on our guests and team members by leveraging technology to simplify and streamline the ordering experience."

Yes, Casey's team members benefit from the streamlined operational execution that allows them to focus on fulfilling orders and serving guests in stores, according to the company.

SYNQ3 CEO Steve Bigari, stated, "Casey's is a brand synonymous with visionary leadership. Their commitment to customer satisfaction and quality service is inspiring," ... "Their forward-thinking leadership and dedication to lead with innovative technologies will revolutionize off-premise order-taking and continue to reinforce Casey's as an industry trailblazer."

Foodservice Solutions® team is here to help you drive top line sales and bottom-line profits. Are you looking a customer ahead? Visit for more information or contact: Remember success does leave clues and we just may the clue you need to propel your continued success.

Thursday, September 21, 2023

Food and Beverage Retailer Holiday Hiring Tips


It’s that time of the year to begin hiring for the holiday season. With the battle for share of stomach continuing to drive a wedge between restaurants, grocery stores, and convenience stores the companies that are not understaffed will win this holiday season.  Today Steven Johnson Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions® is sharing a Guest Blog By Natalie Dopp, Chief People Officer at HireVue.  Here we go:

Hiring top talent can be a daunting task for any organization. However, for companies dealing with high-volume recruitment needs, the challenge is even greater. The need for high-volume recruiting typically arises from rapid growth, seasonal demands like the upcoming holiday season, or industries that require a constant influx of talent. This type of recruitment is common in sectors such as retail, hospitality, customer service, technology, and manufacturing, where organizations need to quickly fill numerous positions to meet their operational needs.


While high-volume recruiting can be an exciting indicator of organizational growth, it poses unique challenges for hiring teams. 

Tight timelines. First, hiring teams often encounter tight timelines when managing high-volume recruitment. The need to fill multiple positions swiftly can lead to rushed decision-making, potentially compromising the quality of hires. The sheer volume of applications to review, screen, and interview can be overwhelming, leaving recruiters with limited time to thoroughly assess each candidate.

Large applicant pools. With a larger pool of applicants, finding top talent becomes more challenging. Hiring teams must sift through numerous resumes and applications to identify candidates with the right skills, qualifications, and cultural fit. The risk of overlooking qualified candidates or inadvertently hiring under qualified individuals increases, impacting the overall quality of the workforce.

Maintaining company reputation. Maintaining a strong employer brand becomes crucial in high-volume recruiting. A company’s reputation and image play a significant role in attracting qualified candidates. However, when hiring teams need to fill multiple positions rapidly, it becomes challenging to provide each candidate with a positive experience and effectively communicate the organization’s values and culture.

Increasing the size of the hiring team. Scaling up recruitment processes to handle high volumes of applicants requires efficient systems and streamlined workflows. Manual processes can be time-consuming and prone to errors. Hiring teams need to leverage technology, such as applicant tracking systems (ATS) and automation tools, to manage large applicant pools, screen candidates, schedule interviews, and track candidate progress effectively.

Creating a positive candidate experience. In high-volume recruiting, there is a risk of candidates feeling lost in the crowd. Each applicant deserves a positive experience, regardless of whether they are selected or not. Failing to provide timely updates or personalized communication can damage an organization’s reputation and deter qualified candidates from applying in the future.

Overcoming these challenges requires strategic planning, effective utilization of technology, and a focus on candidate experience. By implementing efficient processes, hiring teams can successfully navigate high-volume recruitment and attract top talent to drive organizational success.

Best Practices

In the ever-changing landscape of high-volume recruiting, effective strategies are essential for finding a large number of quality candidates in a short period of time.

Source talent through a compelling job description in the right channels. Crafting a compelling job description is crucial for attracting the right talent in high-volume recruiting. Start by clearly outlining the job responsibilities, qualifications, and skills required for a candidate to be successful in the role. However, it’s essential to go beyond the basics and highlight what makes your organization unique. Emphasize the company culture, mission, and growth opportunities to capture the attention of candidates who align with your values. Use concise language and bullet points to make the job description easily scannable, as candidates often have limited time to review each posting. Additionally, consider incorporating storytelling elements to engage potential candidates and make the role more enticing. Showcase the benefits of joining your team and paint a vivid picture of the work environment, and you’ll attract individuals who are not only qualified but also passionate about contributing to your organization’s success.

Also, to attract the right talent in high-volume recruiting, it’s essential to promote job listings through the right channels. 

·         Leverage online job boards and professional networking platforms that cater to your industry or target audience. 

·         Utilize the advanced search filters provided by these platforms to ensure your listings reach candidates with the desired qualifications and experience. 

·         Use social media platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter to extend your reach and tap into passive job seekers. 

·         Engage with relevant industry groups and communities to generate interest and word-of-mouth referrals. 

·         Collaborate with local universities, trade schools, and professional organizations to tap into their talent pools through job fairs, career events, or targeted email campaigns. 

By strategically promoting your job listings in the channels where your ideal candidates are likely to be active, you increase the chances of attracting a high volume of qualified applicants who are genuinely interested in your opportunities.

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Build a robust talent pipeline. By proactively engaging with potential candidates, recruiters can ensure a steady stream of qualified applicants when the need arises. One effective strategy is to leverage networking events and industry conferences to connect with professionals in relevant fields. Attending or hosting career fairs and industry-specific job expos can also help establish relationships with potential candidates. Additionally, building partnerships with universities, trade schools, and vocational programs can provide access to emerging talent pools. Internship and co-op programs can serve as a pipeline for identifying promising candidates and nurturing them for future positions. By actively participating in the professional community and establishing relationships with passive candidates, recruiters can continuously nurture the talent pipeline and stay ahead in high-volume recruiting.

Another effective method to build a robust talent pipeline is through employee referral programs. Encouraging employees to refer qualified candidates from their networks can yield great results. Offering incentives or rewards for successful referrals can motivate employees to actively participate in the hiring process. By leveraging the networks and connections of your existing employees, you tap into a trusted source of potential candidates who are more likely to align with your company’s culture and values. These referred candidates often come with recommendations, making the initial screening process more efficient.

Optimize your screening process.  When it comes to high-volume recruiting, speeding up the hiring process is paramount, but it has to be done effectively. An efficient screening and assessment process is crucial to identify the most qualified candidates quickly. Here are a few tactics that hiring managers can employ to optimize this process:

1.       Utilize Technology and Automation: To achieve fast yet effective high-volume hiring, leverage applicant tracking systems (ATS) and other automation tools, like HireVue provides, to streamline the screening and assessment process. These tools can help in sorting and filtering applications based on predefined criteria, such as skills, qualifications, and, saving valuable time for hiring managers. Additionally, consider using online assessments and pre-employment tests to evaluate candidates efficiently and objectively. These assessments can provide valuable insights into a candidate’s abilities, knowledge, and cultural fit, enabling hiring managers to make informed decisions more quickly and speed up the overall hiring process.

2.       Develop Clear Evaluation Criteria: Define clear evaluation criteria based on the job requirements and desired skills. This ensures consistency in the screening and assessment process and enables hiring managers to make fair and objective comparisons among candidates. By establishing a scoring rubric or checklist, hiring managers can quickly identify the top candidates who meet the predefined criteria. This structured approach eliminates biases and allows for a more systematic and efficient evaluation of a high volume of applicants.

3.       Conduct Structured Interviews: Implement structured interview processes to assess candidates consistently and fairly. Start with realistic job previews, so candidates are clear with what the role entails.  Next, develop a set of standardized interview questions that focus on specific competencies or skills relevant to the role. This helps in comparing candidates directly and ensures that all candidates are evaluated based on the same criteria. Consider using video or panel interviews with the help of a video interview platform to save time and accommodate a larger number of candidates. Structured interviews help maintain consistency and reduce subjectivity, leading to more accurate assessments in high-volume recruiting.

Improve your onboarding process. Efficient onboarding is essential to ensure a smooth transition for new employees in high-volume hiring. To save time and ensure consistency, recruiters can prepare onboarding materials in advance. This includes employee handbooks, welcome packages, and training materials. By providing these resources to new hires before their start date, they can familiarize themselves with company policies, procedures, and expectations beforehand. This proactive approach allows recruiters to focus on personalized elements during onboarding while providing new employees with essential information to hit the ground running.

Another strategy is to develop a structured onboarding program that covers key aspects such as company culture, values, job responsibilities, and introductions to key team members. Break down the onboarding process into manageable steps, providing new employees with a clear roadmap of what to expect during their initial days and weeks.

Incorporate a mentor system where experienced employees can guide and support new hires, answering questions and helping them acclimate to the company culture. This can help ensure new hires actually stay on the job. In fact, a recent survey by Paychex indicates only 63% of new hires are satisfied with their company’s onboarding process and an alarming 50% of new hires planned to quit soon. 

By implementing a structured onboarding program, recruiters can foster a positive employee experience, ensure consistency, reduce the time it takes for new hires to become productive, and keep them engaged and motivated. 

Leverage technology from beginning to end. Technology and automation allows hiring teams to elevate their high-volume recruiting even further. Applicant tracking, assessments, structured interviews, these are all automation tools that provide recruiters with the opportunity to optimize their hiring processes, and HireVue offers a comprehensive set of technologies that will enhance your high-volume recruiting and bring quality candidates. 

Using technology for high-volume recruiting

Utilizing recruiting software is crucial for success in high-volume recruiting. 

Video interviewing technology allows recruiters to conduct remote interviews efficiently and at scale. With high-volume recruiting, scheduling and coordinating in-person interviews can be time-consuming and logistically challenging. Video interviews provide flexibility for both recruiters and candidates, allowing them to participate from anywhere at their convenience. Recruiters can review recorded interviews at their own pace, facilitating faster candidate evaluation and decision-making. Video interviewing technology helps streamline the screening process, enabling recruiters to assess a large number of candidates effectively and identify top talent quickly.

Game-based assessments enable recruiters to evaluate candidates’ skills, problem-solving abilities, and aptitude for the role in a practical and engaging manner. Assessing a high volume of candidates’ technical capabilities can be time-consuming, but game-based assessments automate and standardize the evaluation process. This helps recruiters identify candidates with the right technical proficiency and select the most qualified individuals for further consideration.

Conversational AI technology helps recruiters screen candidates more efficiently by automating initial screening conversations. Conversational AI can ask candidates pre-defined questions and capture their responses. This technology analyzes candidate responses, assessing factors such as communication skills, cultural fit, and job-related knowledge. By automating the initial screening process, recruiters can focus their efforts on engaging with the most promising candidates, saving time and resources in high-volume recruiting.

Coordinating interviews with a large number of candidates can be a logistical challenge for recruiters in high-volume hiring. Simplify the process by offering candidates the ability to self-schedule interviews based on predefined time slots. This eliminates the back-and-forth communication typically involved in scheduling interviews, saving recruiters valuable time and reducing administrative burdens. Automated interview scheduling helps streamline the process, ensuring a smoother experience for both recruiters and candidates.

Structured interviews allow recruiters to standardize the interview process and ensure consistency when assessing candidates. With high-volume recruiting, conducting numerous interviews can make it challenging to maintain a consistent evaluation approach. Structured interviews help mitigate biases and ensure fairness by asking all candidates the same set of standardized questions. This enables recruiters to make more objective comparisons and identify top talent accurately.

About the Author:

By Natalie Dopp is the Chief People Officer at HireVue, the global leader in video interviewing, assessments, and text-enabled recruiting solutions

Foodservice Solutions® team is here to help you drive top line sales and bottom-line profits. Are you looking a customer ahead? Visit for more information or contact: Remember success does leave clues and we just may the clue you need to propel your continued success.

Wednesday, September 20, 2023

Restaurant Meals and Meal Components Drive Grocerant Growth


Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh prepared food continues to drive top-line sales and bottom-line according to Steven Johnson Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions®. Restaurants from fast food outlets to fine dining establishments are currying favor with consumers seeking an answer to the age–old question; What’s for Dinner. They are doing that by selling meals and meal components for take out and or delivery.  

In case you did not know the vast majority of U.S. restaurants (79%) report that their revenue is steady or growing, but a 34% average increase in their labor costs this year is eating into profitability and impacting hungry consumers.

So, what to do, well more than half are adopting new technology, including artificial intelligence, to manage labor deficits and costs as they work to meet strong consumer demand. This is according to Popmenu’s latest nationwide research on U.S. restaurant leaders and consumers.

The majority (75%) of consumers dine at or order carryout/delivery from restaurants at least once a week. Convenience is a key motivator for two-thirds of consumers, especially as their schedules grow increasingly busier: 38% say they don’t have time to cook, up from 28% last year. One in four consumers say restaurant dining has just become a way of life.

5 Restaurant Dining Trends to Watch

o    Willingness to pay for a table: Consumers can expect more competition for restaurant tables in the coming months—29% have tipped a host/hostess to get a table faster. Nearly half (46%) say they are willing to pay for a reservation.

o    Dialing back on dessert, alcohol and more: As consumers contend with inflation and tighter household budgets, 42% are reducing money spent on dessert, 35% on alcohol, 35% on appetizers, and 30% on side dishes.  

o    More demand for healthy fast food: 89% of consumers eat fast food at least once a week while more than half eat fast food two times or more per week; 38% of consumers say they typically choose healthy options when eating fast food.

o    More tech-enabled hospitality: 55% of restaurant operators are implementing new technology to help with the labor shortage, from marketing and answering phones to online ordering and online reservations.

o    Shorter hours: 44% of restaurant operators have reduced their hours, which may be a permanent operational decision—the majority say they’ve been able to generate the same amount of revenue with reduced hours.


“Restaurants have become part of the weekly, if not daily, routine for many consumers—which creates both opportunity and challenge,” says Brendan Sweeney, CEO and Co-founder of Popmenu. “Restaurants are understaffed. More than half are concerned about new minimum wage requirements for delivery drivers. You’ll see restaurants continue to evolve their tech stack to create more efficient and cost-effective operations, so they can keep consumers engaged and scale their business.”

Are you ready for some fresh ideations? Do your food marketing ideas look more like yesterday than tomorrow? Interested in learning how our Grocerant Guru® can edify your retail food brand while creating a platform for consumer convenient meal participationdifferentiation, and individualization?  Email us at: or visit: us on our social media sites by clicking one of the following links: Facebook,  LinkedIn, or Twitter