Five Star Hits Fast Forward On Growth In 2018

Posted On: 3/8/2019

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CHATTANOOGA, TN – Five Star Food Service said 2018 was a year marked again by unprecedented growth for the company. The company, Canteen's largest franchisee, said a robust economy including job growth and low unemployment across the Southeast's fastest-growing cities provided a strong tailwind.
As a result, according to Chatanooga, TN-based Five Star, a heightened awareness around employee benefits and their workspaces emerged. Companies of all sizes and industries continued investing in programs to attract and retain the best talent on the market.
Micro Markets
Employer demand for micromarkets to upgrade their break rooms and work environments to drive growth for Five Star both in securing new locations and upselling existing accounts. Entering the year, Five Star reportedly had 830 markets and just over 1,250 exiting it. Of the 420 new market locations, Five Star opened 40 new locations, converted 100 vending locations to markets, and added the rest via acquisition.
The company said it grew its existing base by nearly 40% by leveraging a series of tuck-in and territory expansion acquisitions allowing entry into northern Mississippi, northern Alabama including Huntsville, and the Metro Atlanta area including Marietta.
Same Store Sales
Annually, Five Star's marketing and operations teams collaboratively develop and execute initiatives focused on growing profits organically at all existing account locations while simultaneously adding value for the customer. Each core service line saw same-store sales grow with blended company same-store growth in the mid-single digits, according to Five Star.
Digital Marketing
The micromarket operations and IT teams collaborated to complete the installation of digital marketing screens in all micromarkets which allows for the activation of consumer-based initiatives and retail promotions. Additionally, a majority of the company's vending machines are now outfitted with interactive digital credit card readers allowing for similar consumer-based programs across vending.
Focusing on improving the consumer experience, Five Star finished a complete rebuild of its website led by director of creative services Danelle Layton, in conjunction with a local boutique Web design firm. The new website features improved site functionality, navigation and access to information.
Feeding the Future
Five Star's corporate 501(c)3 charity, Feeding the Future, also reportedly experienced enormous growth. The organization hosted a 5K race and a golf tournament resulting in $94,000 being donated to local food banks earmarked for programs to feed kids battling hunger. Furthermore, Five Star employees are adding an additional $20,000 annually via the company's payroll-deduct program that supports the charity.
Five Star Food Service is a leader in micromarkets, full-line vending, corporate pantry kitchen, coffee and water services, full-service dining and catering across Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Kentucky and North Carolina.