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Rise of c-store foodservice business

Where they’re headed and how to fend them off By Roshan Thomas

Wawa is a top c-store chain that uses foodservice to attract all-day business. Photo by Wawa.

Competition in the restaurant industry between sit-down and fast-casual establishments has become evident in the past few years. Less evident is the competition that is cropping up between fast-casual eateries and convenience stores (“c-stores”), unless you’re inside the restaurant industry and fending convenience stores off. C-stores offer a wide variety of quick foods that can have customers in and out in no time. The food options at these stores are not typically gourmet by any means, but still are attractive and adequate when it comes to fast dining as many can be prepared in the microwave or assembled in very little time without many extra ingredients. RESTAURANT C-SUITE | Restaurant news that’s fresh, informed, inspired (by you) 36

Rise of c-store foodservice A December 2018 report prepared by AlixPartners, a management consulting firm, notes that 41 percent of consumers they surveyed said their rationale for purchasing food from c-stores was because they were out shopping already and the food was easier to pick up. This points to an interesting finding in that consumers are increasingly valuing convenience more than price when making food purchasing decisions. With this in mind, the data in Innovating to Compete: The Next Step for North American Convenience Stores suggests restaurateurs need to be prepared to secure their market share.

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