Thursday, April 1, 2021

7-Eleven’s Restaurant Drive-Thru Disruption


When your brand has developed over 71,175 outlets worldwide you might think it was time to take a break and enjoy a Slurpee on the front steps.  Not at 7-Eleven where they just opened the first-ever Laredo Taco Co. drive-thru restaurant at its newest 7-Eleven Evolution store.

 Yes, the company that knows how to drive top line single store sales growth year after year and while driving bottom-line profits in a franchised world is continuing to evolve.  According to Steven Johnson, Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions® 7-Eleven is one of the most if not the most dynamic food retailers in the world.   

 This also marks the first time 7-Eleven has operated a corporate-owned drive-thru restaurant at one of its stores. So, consider that 7-Eleven understand fresh food branding better than most restaurant chains and has been branding food & beverage items since the early 1960’s.  Could franchising a fresh food fast restaurant concept be the next big growth avenue for 7-Eleven?


Chris Tanco, 7-Eleven executive vice president and chief operating officer, stated, "This is delicious news for customers of both 7-Eleven and Laredo Taco Co.," … "7-Eleven is known as a beverage destination, and Laredo Taco Co. makes some of the best quick-serve Mexican food anywhere. Throw in the convenience of grabbing a taco paired with a Slurpee drink through a drive-thru, and it's a match made in heaven."

Here are the facts, owned and operated by 7-Eleven, Laredo Taco Co. is an authentic Mexican quick-service restaurant with locations in more than 500 Stripes and 7-Eleven convenience stores. It is known for its handmade flour tortillas that are made from scratch daily in-store as well as its fresh salsa bar with a wide selection of salsas and pico de gallo. Tacos and meals include specialties not always seen in quick-serve Mexican restaurants such as authentic beef barbacoa, chorizo, carne asada, carnitas and breakfast tacos made with fresh-cracked eggs, according to the company.

 So, did you get that?  They are currently operating 500 restaurants without a drive-thru. How many stores do you have open today? The new drive-thru operates from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday to Thursday and 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. It offers an all-day menu and meals for "Los Niños" that include a side and a small drink. Breakfast is served from 5 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. and features a wide variety of breakfast tacos and breakfast bowls.


Co-branding at Laredo Taco Co. will expand the brands familiarly and reach according to familiarly Johnson, as customers can also order a Slurpee with their meal in a single stop. Other beverage options include fresh-brewed hot or iced coffee, espresso drinks such as lattes and cappuccinos, aguas frescas, fountain drinks and iced tea as well as Topo Chico sparkling mineral water and other battled and canned beverages. In total, drive-thru customers can choose from more than 30 beverages.

That’s not all, as inside the Laredo Taco restaurant, diners can enjoy wine-based frozen margaritas, beer or wine with their tacos. Margarita flavors available on-tap include classic, strawberry, swirl, watermelon, sangria, melon and prickly pear.

 Tanco continued, "While opening the first Laredo Taco Co. drive-thru restaurant with a 7-Eleven store would be exciting any time, we think customers looking for socially distanced ways to grab breakfast, lunch and dinner will really appreciate it now. "Soon I hope, ordering tacos and beverages for in-person get-togethers with family and friends will be the norm once again." How are you growing your brand?

Foodservice Solutions® specializes in outsourced business development. We can help you identify, quantify and qualify additional food retail segment opportunities or a new menu product segment and brand and menu integration strategy.  Foodservice Solutions® of Tacoma WA is the global leader in the Grocerant niche visit us on our social media sites by clicking one of the following links: Facebook,  LinkedIn, or Twitter

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