Caltex Wacol: Where good food meets great service

Nestled in the industrial area of the Brisbane suburb of Wacol, this Caltex site caters to a range of customers, from workers on their lunch breaks to tradies topping up, but what really sets Caltex Wacol apart from its competitors is its food offer.

“Due to the continual growth over the years, we have had to do multiple upgrades to the food offer in this store. In 2021, we upgraded the counter, added on to the kitchen, and moved from a four-tray to six-tray hot box, with the takeaway category increasing by 19.5 per cent as a result,” said Nadia Young, Store Manager.

Despite the upgrades, they could still see that Caltex Wacol had not yet reached its peak, so when the rebrand to Caltex was scheduled, they used the closure time to add another three trays of hot box space as well as new fridges to showcase its sandwich, salads, meals, and dessert offers.

“The team has a long list of fried food lines that they pull from, however they always ensure they have the top sellers available. They are well known for their chicken and chips, and hamburgers as well as the classic Inghams Sweet Chilli Tender and Keppel Biggins Crumbed Sausage.

“Being in an industrial area, fried food is still in high demand and our customers usually use their visit to grab a break from work so are happy to travel to us. We do however notice seasonal shifts. In winter, we find that our customers really gravitate to the hot food and in summer they tend to switch it up for a sandwich, salad, or sushi that we have on offer,” explained Young.

The site is also the top performing energy site in the state for two energy drink suppliers.

“We could not continue to grow our food offer without opening up the fridge space, so we took iced coffee, flavoured milk, and milk out of the fridge run and into its own space, and now we have a dedicated door for multipacks as well as three more doors dedicated to energy units.

“We have had incredible growth results across all categories changed during the rebrand. Every inch of this store is working hard to earn its space, and if we want to grow beyond this, we are limited by the walls.”

Another part of the rebrand included the addition of four new brands – the new fuel offer of Caltex with Techron in every grade of fuel, the new Star Mart branded c-store, the Coffee Plus offer, and the fried food offer of Tucker Time.

“With all the changes mentioned above and with the implementation of these new brands we have seen strong growth in all these areas in a very short time.”

An ever-engaging experience

One of Caltex Wacol’s secrets to success is its unwavering commitment to keeping the customer experience engaging and exciting.

“The Wacol team loves to keep their offer interesting for their customers, they are always keen to trial new things and pass on customer feedback. Therefore, this site is often the testing ground for new offers, that if successful, are rolled out to the wider Caltex Stores,” explains Joanna Watters, Merchandising Team Lead at Caltex.

Maintaining a strong connection to community and customers is another area where Caltex Wacol excels. Young says it is important to listen to your customers’ needs and train staff to do the same.

“Have conversations, engage, learn their order, and even better yet, call them by their first name or nickname.”

Relationships are equally important with suppliers, and Watters says that communication is key.

“You cannot over communicate, especially with a busy site. If you are going to be late or if you are out of stock of product that we need every day to run our business, business critical items we call them; eggs, bacon, bread, chicken tenders etc, let us know as soon as possible so we can make other arrangements.”

Looking ahead to 2024, Watters believes the industry landscape is in an incredibly interesting period, with changes in ownership, rebrands, and businesses for sale.

“The disruption will no doubt inspire investment into better offers and better convenience leading to greater competition. The focus on food continues to remain strong and seems to be the path forward for all good retailers. The next evolution is how we keep our customers loyal to our shop offer as well as our fuel.”

This article originally appeared in the December/January issue of Convenience and Impulse Retailing Magazine.

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