Put Yourself Out of Business?

At QSR magazine's Dine America conference last month, Steve Sheetz of Sheetz
Convenience Stores took attendees through their process of "putting themselves out of
business "- not in the typical fashion many companies do, but rather by asking customers
and employees to provide suggestions and input on building the Sheetz of the future that
will put their current stores out of business. How many businesses would take that bold a

The result? The Sheetz Convenience Restaurant — no longer a gas station that sells food,
it's now a Convenience Restaurant that also sells gasoline. Worried? You should be.
Open-theater food preparation, bulk candy dispensers, made-to-order sandwiches, and
self-service order kiosks, even in the drive-through (no speakers here), all add up to a
convenience store selling more "restaurant" food per location than many of the leading
quick-serve chains.

A self-service kiosk to place orders in a drive-through? "We can not do that!" Sometimes what
you know and do holds you back from what could be done. The old saying,
"Incrementalism is the worst form of change" rings true, certainly in the case of Sheetz,
and likely for your business. Get out there and be different, better, and make people say
"wow." Today's customer demands it.

How? Ask! Sheetz did and now does TRIPLE the volume per location as what their
competitors do. Employees and customers know your business and what they would like it
to become. Seek input and make decisions. Tweaking the concept does not always maximize the impact you can have on the top and bottom lines.

Employees and customers want to be bonded to your brand. What better way to do that
than by asking their input in order to put yourself out of business — and build your
business of the future?

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