Independents retailers should offer a wide range of hot food-to-go that taps into new, world flavours to stand out against the multiples and drive profit.

That was the advice of Salim and Mumtaz Patel, of Crown Service Station (Nisa) in Brighouse, Huddersfield, who told Retail Express that since the re-opening of their store in February, they have seen a 100% sales increase of food to go, after they invested in a fully-functioning kitchen that makes hot Asian dishes such as kebab wraps and samosas.  

“In the morning, we serve English breakfast until 10am, and after that we start selling dishes such as kebabs, burritos and samosas, alongside favourites like burger and chips. All of it is made fresh in store by hand,” Salim said.

Mumtaz added since they started offering hot Asian food, she has noticed more people visiting the forecourt for food alone, as opposed to buying food as a secondary thought after filling up their car.

“A lot of people come in the afternoon to buy something from the kitchen and we have started to notice repeat customers. The samosas, wraps and burritos are bestsellers by far. It’s important to offer something different that shoppers can’t get elsewhere – that’s how you will stand out,” she added.

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