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Special Tyson Deli Report: Getting Peak Performance from Deli Staff

When prepared foods customers experience a problem with a deli staff member, they take it personally—and they take action.

Staffing issues result in the most severe repercussions for deli sales, according to new research from Tyson Foods on purchasing prepared chicken products from the supermarket deli. Shoppers who report staffing problems (22.2 percent) also report more deli problems of any type, and these customers are much more likely to bypass the deli on future shopping trips for prepared foods, either temporarily or permanently.

Customers who stopped shopping at their grocery deli due to problems

 Staffing problems Product problems General deli problems
For a short period of time38%25%22%
For a long period of time9%7%4%
Permanently 7%3%3%
Not at all45%64%70%

The key to reducing staffing problems? Better, more effective training, rather than simply adding more team members behind the counter, according to a Tyson In-Store Observation Study completed in November-December 2014. The study found that the number of store associates working in a deli department does not correlate with cleanliness, organization or in-stock position in major product categories (although there is a correlation with customer perceived freshness). But you can likely create significant increases in customer satisfaction and repeat purchases by investing more resources in staff training, especially in these areas:

  • Coaching about key customer service issues such as courtesy, friendly attitude and product knowledge
  • Operational training on cooking to temperature and following holding procedures, to help alleviate the most common deli product problem—dryness

Upgrading staff training to improve performance on key metrics, and stopping the churn that can result when shoppers experience repeated problems, can help the deli department achieve sales increases at full margin—without increasing staffing.

 Tyson Deli can support you with products, insights and tools to help grow your deli business. Contact Eric LeBlanc at (800) 248-9766 for more information.

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