7-Eleven Goes Fast Food With Plans For 150 Restaurants In 2021 | Franchise News

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The successful launch since March 2019 of eight “Evolution” stores, which serve as labs where customers can try out the latest 7-Eleven and 7-Eleven innovations can test what works, is leading to a major push in quick-service restaurants for convenience – the store giant.

Executives are betting its three new restaurant concepts will “have a halo effect on the rest of the food,” said Chris Tanco, chief operating officer, and attract customers who still think of 7-Eleven as a stop at the restaurant. stand only for the infamously hot Giants Slurpees. dogs and nachos with disturbing bright orange cheese.

“Today’s opportunity is in the QSR space, and we’re responding by aggressively deploying our restaurants across the country,” both in Evolution stores and beyond, Tanco said, with plans to open nearly 150 restaurants in 2021 alone.

7-Eleven, No. 2 on the Franchise Times Top 400 list, released in October, increased system-wide sales 3.1% in 2020 from the previous year, to $ 91.8 billion of dollars. Evolution stores are a big reason for the increase. Tanco calls them “more like a laboratory store that allows us to test different platforms”, in particular its three new restaurant concepts. Read the Top 10 Franchises on the all-new Franchise Times Top 400 here.

The idea is to “see which ones resonate the most with customers, and if we have a lot of success, we take those ideas, these platforms and we adapt them to the standard of the store.” Sales are “so much higher at Evolution stores,” he said, up to three times higher in some cases.

7-Eleven acquired its first restaurant brand, Laredo Taco Company, as part of the acquisition of 1,000 Stripes convenience stores from Sunoco in 2018. “When I visited the stores, I was very excited . There is enormous respect for these, ”Tanco said. “We’re about to open five in Chicago,” to add in Texas, Colorado, Florida, Oklahoma, San Diego and Washington, DC

“Laredo Taco is a concept applicable across the country. Our total sales are up significantly, and our margins are up, in these stores with restaurants. “

Its Evolution store in Manassas, Virginia, which opened in April 2021, was the first to offer two dining options in one location: Raise the Roost Chicken & Biscuits, 7-Eleven’s offering in the red chicken segment, and Parlor Pizza, a pizzeria with hand-prepared pizzas.

“One of our strategies is to be a restaurant destination for our customers, but in order to do that you have to offer very high quality, appetizing and flavorful food,” said Tanco, who acknowledges that the average customer might don’t think of 7-Eleven that way

“I would say we’re evolving that point of view right now. They are very surprised, ”he said of customers trying their new food options,“ and we have to do a better job of shouting that out to the world and making it manifest. “

“For years we have been eating high quality, tasty food. Sales have increased quite significantly in this category. The accelerator of this is the restaurant. When you do food, it has a halo effect on the rest of the food.

Raise the Roost’s visit is disappointing

A visit to 7-Eleven’s first Raise the Roost in Lower Manhattan in September was disappointing, especially unlike the jazzy video posted when the store opened in 2020. The restaurant was billed as “Chicken Worth Crossing” the Road For, “but in the little store a block or two from the New York Stock Exchange, there is no signage outside to mention the restaurant inside.

A staff member was using the restaurant counter as a desk, flipping through a giant binder of laminated inventory sheets, only pushing them away when the only customer, me, asked if I could order. The chicken sandwich was indeed tasty, with a spicy crunch, and the cookie as flaky as advertised, but both were dry as dust with no condiment in sight.

Another Evolution store near Times Square, without a restaurant concept but twice the size of its southern counterpart and with an eye-catching electronic billboard up front, was more impressive.

Rows and rows of plump, fresh wraps and salads were right up front. A general manager was showing staff how to rearrange merchandise to increase sales. “Let’s sell cookies tonight,” he urged, touting the freshly baked cookies on special. The drink schedule – with hot and cold-pressed drinks offered from half a dozen push-button machines – seemed likely to give a Dunkin’s or McDonald’s a hard time.

Near Times Square, however, a huge electronic billboard pushing McDonald’s biggest hits showed the QSR King is still ahead. Average unit volumes are $ 2.38 million at McDonald’s compared to $ 1.27 million at 7-Eleven, according to the Franchise Times Top 400.

But watch out for Tanco & Co. He and CEO Joe DePinto are focusing their attention on their $ 21 billion acquisition of Speedway, the convenience arm of Marathon Petroleum Corp., with approximately 3,800 stores in 36 states in the United States. This acquisition, which closed in May 2021, brings 7-Eleven’s North American portfolio to 14,000 stores and the potential of many more quick-service restaurants.

A visit to 7-Eleven’s first Raise the Roost in Lower Manhattan in September was disappointing, especially unlike the jazzy video posted when the store opened in 2020. The restaurant was billed as “Chicken Worth Crossing” the Road For, “but in the little store a block or two from the New York Stock Exchange, there is no signage outside to mention the restaurant inside.

A staff member was using the restaurant counter as a desk, flipping through a giant binder of laminated inventory sheets, only pushing them away when the only customer, me, asked if I could order. The chicken sandwich was indeed tasty, with a spicy crunch, and the cookie as flaky as advertised, but both were dry as dust with no condiment in sight.

Another Evolution store near Times Square, without a restaurant concept but twice the size of its southern counterpart and with an eye-catching electronic billboard up front, was more impressive.

Rows and rows of plump, fresh wraps and salads were right up front. A general manager was showing staff how to rearrange merchandise to increase sales. “Let’s sell cookies tonight,” he urged, touting the freshly baked cookies on special. The drink schedule – with hot and cold-pressed drinks offered from half a dozen push-button machines – seemed likely to give a Dunkin’s or McDonald’s a hard time.

Near Times Square, however, a huge electronic billboard pushing McDonald’s biggest hits showed the QSR King is still ahead. Average unit volumes are $ 2.38 million at McDonald’s compared to $ 1.27 million at 7-Eleven, according to the Franchise Times Top 400.

But watch out for Tanco & Co. He and CEO Joe DePinto are focusing their attention on their $ 21 billion acquisition of Speedway, the convenience arm of Marathon Petroleum Corp., with approximately 3,800 stores in 36 states in the United States. This acquisition, which closed in May 2021, brings 7-Eleven’s North American portfolio to 14,000 stores.

That’s a lot of stores that could have more restaurants.

A version of this article appears in Restaurant Finance Monitor, sister publication of Franchise Times.


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