Convenience store food bears an unappetizing stigma but increase quality of food and beverage may very well become a threat to the quick service industry.
The NPD Research group conducted a study evaluating the rise of food-forward convenience visits. According to the research convenience stores have increased share of visits by five percent since 2009.
By examining frequency of visits, intent to revisit and customer satisfaction the NPD has found convenience stores often score higher then long established QSR chains.
Although food-forward chains like Maverik, Wawa, and QuikTrip are regional, generally they prose a threat for other restaurant concepts and traditional convenience stores.
Rating the highest, there is a 58% chance a surveyed consumer was going to return compared to 45% for QSRs and 43% of fast-casual patrons.
They also ranked highest in customer satisfaction with nearly 60%.
In comparison to the previous year pizza sales rose 20% and the amount of pizza crust being transported to convenience stores was up 27%. QSRs and fast-casual restaurants rose almost nothing.
Incorporating kitchens and casual seating many chains have been moving toward this direction for years. After the peak of cigarettes and gasoline many convenience stores made the move to different revenue outlets.
Maverik started adding kitchens and hired a fine dining chef to help facilitate the process. By including a made-to-order menu and quality ingredients the Utah based chain wanted to take a fast casual approach.
Assembly line concepts, like Chipotle, have help increase warm item sales by 50%. Burritos and sandwiches heated-to-order are now their most successful items.
QuikTrip made decision to serve fresh food nearly ten years ago. Today pizza is one of their most successful items. All 721 stores have slowly started offering made-to-order items, specialty drinks, and frozen desserts.
Although they still carry grab and go items most of the food dished out will be made to order.
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