The Convenience Store Restaurateur
C-stores have taken on more and more characteristics of “traditional” restaurants, changing perceptions about what the industry can be.
For some time (check out this article from 2011), retail food channels have been blurring. This trend has likely been accelerated by the events of the past few years.
From a c-store perspective, this channel movement goes two ways. Businesses not traditionally in-and-out destinations for prepared food—Whole Foods, Amazon, and Walgreens, to name three examples—have begun to incorporate their takes on convenience options for the consumer.
Convenience stores are headed in the opposite way: they’ve incorporated characteristics of other food channels, and as a result c-store dining has never been more varied or exciting. It’s not unusual anymore for c-stores to compete successfully in the quick serve and fast casual channels, or even elevate to full-service casual dining on occasion. Don’t forget the dominance (and variety!) of Foodservice, either; it’s a food channel all in itself.
If it sounds like there’s a dazzling number of eating options for the c-store customer, that’s because there are. In fact, a number of restaurants have begun to look to convenience stores for cues on how to freshen up their own approach to food options.
Here’s a brief survey of what “convenience store restaurateur” means these days:
- Atlas Obscura takes us on a tour of all the different foods you can find in Texas gas stations, including the always hard-to-find Czech restaurant.
- Fine Dining Lovers takes a rather spectacular look at fine dining gas station spaces around the world.
- There are A&W convenience stores out there. (Or is it the other way around?) They’re expanding.
- The best Vietnamese chicken wings just might be found in this Louisiana c-store/restaurant.
- This Washington State convenience store makes a bold claim for having “the best gas station breakfast in America.”
- MSN makes their case for the best gas station restaurants in the U.S.
- Oh, and speaking of food (though otherwise off the subject), did you know there used to be Yogi Bear Fried Chicken restaurants? You’re welcome!
SSCS pioneered technology for c-store foodservice first by working with customers to find a solution that fit. In the years since, we’ve evolved our technology to meet the needs of c-stores as they adapt to changing customer expectations for c-store dining. If you’d like to find out how our software can help you handle the new realities influencing food retailing, please call us at 800-972-7727.