Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Will 7-Eleven Evolve from C-Store Fresh Food to Restaurant Franchisor


Grocery stores capitulated a once dominate role in food sales to the restaurant sector, c-store sector, and dollar store sector resulting in closure of over 50.4% of all legacy grocery stores over the past 15 years.  We posed this question; will 7-Eleven evolve into a restaurant franchising juggernaut, to Steven Johnson, Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions®.

Johnson, stated, “unless you have been living under a rock, you would know the answer, they all ready have.”  Yes, we know there are plenty of legacy food industry analyst, researchers, and consultants clinging to food industry metrics of a bygone era that say no.  However, the simple fact is 7-Eleven, Alimentation Couche-Tard, Rutters, Casey General Store, Sheetz, and Wawa have all evolved from C-store CPG to restaurant fresh food outlets.  All of these chains are growing units, top-line sales, and bottom-line profits. 

While grocery legacy food industry analyst, researchers, and consultants continue clinging metrics of yesterday, and driving incremental closings, the C-store industry leader 7-Eleven is proving that evolving with consumers while meeting an untapped need-set has proven beneficial.

Johnson, noted that 7-Eleven for the past three years has called it newest stores ‘Evolution store’s’.  One of the first branded fresh fast-food items branded with the Slurpee. Yes, the Slurpee is known by as many kids as McDonalds is today.  

7-Eleven Inc. plans to offer customers more quick-serve restaurant (QSR)-quality dining options than ever before, starting at its newest Evolution store. 7-Eleven's Raise the Roost Chicken and Biscuits restaurant brand as well as Parlor Pizza, an on-site pizzeria with hand-tossed, made-to-order pizza pies.

7-Eleven Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Chris Tanco, stated, "Since 7-Eleven began selling milk and bread from an ice dock in 1927, our spirit of innovation has allowed us to evolve to meet the ever-changing needs of customers for over 90 years," .. "Today's opportunity is in the QSR space, and we are responding by aggressively rolling out our restaurants across the country — both in Evolution stores and beyond. Our plan is to open nearly 150 restaurants in 2021."

Let’s talk free standing restaurants in the future, Johnson, continued saying, “with over 72,576 franchised c-stores is there anyone in the world that does not think it is possible 7-Eleven will be, could be, or is the largest restaurant chain in the world today?

So, get this, Raise the Roost is billed as "Chicken Worth Crossing the Road For" and offers a simple menu of fried chicken tenders that are hand-breaded with a proprietary blend of southern spices, freshly baked flaky biscuits, bone-in and boneless wings tossed with "made in coop" sauces, signature chicken sandwiches and breakfast sandwiches. Both made-to-order and grab-and-go options are available.

Yes, the Parlor Pizza has a full pizzeria menu that includes New York-style pizzas, calzones, garlic knots, pepperoni rolls, and hot and cold sub sandwiches. Customers can choose from baked whole pizzas or slices, or select made-to-order, 18-inch hand-tossed pizzas with premium ingredients, including 100-percent whole milk mozzarella cheese. Specialty pizzas with premium ingredients created by the restaurant team are also on the menu.

Parlor Pizza's conveyer-style oven ensures that pizzas, calzones and other baked items are ready in minutes, according to 7-Eleven. How is you brand evolving?  Does your operation, menu, marketing, and messaging look more like yesterday than tomorrow?

Success does leave clues. One clue that time and time again continues to resurface is “the consumer is dynamic not static”.  Regular readers of this blog know that is the common refrain of Steven Johnson, Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions®.  Our Grocerant Guru® can help your company edify your brand with relevance.  Call 253-759-7869 for more information. 

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