As owners keep an eye on shifting market trends, they see an opportunity to improve their convenience store profit margins by offering a wider, healthier selection of food options. Once viewed as a second-rate meal, c-stores are quickly becoming the new place to showcase local and fresh food.
Non-fuel sales at U.S. c-stores rose 3.2 percent in 2017 according to the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS).
This 3.2% rise in non-fuel sales shows how effective food offerings can be as c-stores make a conscious effort to draw customers from the pump into their stores to spend more. Major players like Wawa, Sheetz, 7-Eleven, and Circle K are beefing up the food service aspects of their business, offering a wider variety of options ranging from built-to-order hot items to grab-and-go eats for diners on the run.
Dustin Hamann, National Account Manager at Mainstreet Inc., who’s worked with c-store chains for over 10 years says, “There’s been a push to get customers from pump to the store. C-stores need to capture some of that lost revenue otherwise people leave the pump after getting gas and then go across the street to McDonald’s or another restaurant to eat.”