The COVID pandemic has prompted significant changes in the way businesses operate, not least of which is the altering of their physical spaces as real estate needs begin to shrink, populations decrease and new ways of working are developed. That has driven a need for convenience above and beyond the dining guest’s expectations, which is the rationale behind the development of Aramark’s Customizable Convenience portfolio. Marketed as the first retail solution developed to yield net positive revenue through a modular kit-of-part system for population sizes under 1,000 guests, Customizable Convenience uses advanced technology integration and a fresh-forward but adaptable product mix to fulfill a variety of needs for different consumer needs while matching the desired client investment.
Operating across a variety of environments, Customizable Convenience flexes to fit any footprint no matter the size, shape, functionality or population while its food programs are crafted and curated by Aramark’s culinary experts into a robust assortment of packaged, grab and go and made to-order offerings that fit guests’ lifestyles and dietary requirements while delivering meal options for all day parts.
Because convenience and guest experience aren’t one size fits all, the space has been curated in three steps: Select and Format, Modify with Modules, and Customize and Upgrade. There are four base formats—Essential, Expanded, Elevated and Elevated Plus—that allow for simple client modifications and additions while ensuring the opportunity will deliver profitability to the bottom line. The solution is also designed to open with low capital outlay inclusive of a simple installation process without sacrificing quality so that Aramark can optimize any space on any budget.
In addition to in-house creations, the Customizable Convenience platform also offers a rotating Local Restaurant Row option from Aramark’s growing portfolio of nearly 400 partnerships, helping to bring the local community into each organization while helping ensure a constantly rotating selection of meal and snack options. The backend system is managed with seamless technology integrations connecting to all critical areas of retail operations, including contactless POS, loyalty programs, on-shelf perpetual inventory and reporting/analytics.
The first Customizable Solution opened this past March at ServiceLink in Pittsburgh with Local Restaurant Row, grab and go, snack, beverage and frozen meal options. With over 400 employees on flexible work shifts, ServiceLink needed a 24/7 convenience solution with the ability to offer hot food during peak hours. By providing both mobile and web ordering options, the company’s Customizable Solution outlet allows its employees to spend less time in line and more time enjoying their break periods.
While ServiceLink has not yet returned to full capacity, its onsite staff have still been enjoying the ease of selecting fresh foods, snacks and beverages between calls and meetings. To encourage the use of mobile pay and ordering, ServiceLink employees were treated to a bonus $10 on their account when downloading the mobile app. With an investment of $65,000, including technology, Aramark was able to transform an outdated retail space with limited hours of operation into a high-tech/low-labor food destination accessible at all hours.