With more than one million commuters and potential customers passing by every day, Londis in London’s Shepherds Bush needs a top-notch food-to-go operation to keep them stopping by. Store operations manager Lucxman Ananthaparanam shows C-Store how he runs a tight ship to ensure that the category always looks its best
The store is beside the busy Shepherds Bush station and so attracts a lot of commuters. “It was reported that one million people use the station daily - that’s a lot of people,” Lucxman says. “Food-to-go sales usually work out at £400-£500 per day and it’s busy at all times, but mornings and lunchtimes are our key periods. We work very closely with Cuisine de France to ensure we have the best range and display possible.”
The Nescafé hot beverage machine is close to the main checkout to capitalise on impulse sales from queuing shoppers. The store recently upgraded its hot beverage machine, which has proved to be a good move. Lucxman explains: “We sell about 100 cups a day, a vast improvement on the previous machine, plus it takes up a lot less space than the previous machine.”
Customers are wowed by the huge bread and pastry display that greets them as they enter the store. Lucxman says that it’s constantly in demand, selling more than 80 baguettes a day. “Even at weekends it’s busy as larger stores aren’t open all day, so we’ll be the only store open late with fresh loaves.” He adds that the section is especially popular with hungry builders working nearby.
One area that Lucxman is eager to build on is his evening hot food operation. “We’re open 24-hours a day so we need an offering for all times of the day,” he says. “When pubs and clubs close, we get people looking for hot food. We’re hoping to expand the store so we’ll have more space to work with and can have a larger offering, especially for customers who don’t feel like cooking.”
As well as its Cuisine de France offering, the store has a range of sandwiches and salads that are made on site. It sells about 50 of each a day and Lucxman believes it offers customers something a little different. “We have an employee who starts work at 2am so we have enough to cope with the demand,” he says. “The home-made lines give us an offering that other stores in the area don’t have.”
The store has an extensive range of bagged snacks and treats sited near the hot food-to-go counter, and is an area Lucxman wants to exploit further. He aims to incorporate more bagged snacks and bars into his meal deals. “We’ll be looking to expand our meal deal offerings to offer more variety. We already do deals on coffee and pastries for £1.99, but I think this can definitely be expanded upon.”•