Lines Between C-Stores and QSRs Blur

  • Lines Between C-Stores and QSRs Blur

    NACS published an excellent article discussing how the line between c-stores and QSRs (Quick Serve Restaurants) has blurred or is even nonexistent.

    The NACS article is based on a Forbes article saying convenience stores are likely taking market share from quick-serve restaurants. The Forbes article references research from Cardlytics, a company that provides information on consumer spending, showing that food sales at c-stores have increased to over 20% and that the category is likely taking market share away from traditional quick-service restaurants. Since 2019, convenience store share has increased from 18.42% to 21.39%. One advantage is wait time: the average wait time at a QSR is about 7 minutes, while the c-store average is 4 minutes. And some c-store chains like Sheetz offer drive-thru and pickup services.

    Cardlytics has two Blogs on this market share topic. The first article titled “Convenience Food Purchase Insights vs. Traditional QSR” attributes the stealing of market share to the evolution of the c-store food offering and the made-to-order menu. The second article titled “Convenience Stores are a Surprising Threat to Quick Service Restaurants” concludes that 59% of customers consider purchasing a meal from a c-store when stopping for fast food.

    Another example of a c-store chain that has blurred the line is TXB, formerly branded as Kwik Chek. Their stores now offer locally sourced, ready-to-cook meats, such as marinated beef skirt steak and chicken breast fajitas, as well as artisan products like fine chocolates, gourmet cheeses, salamis and wine.

    NACS says foodservice now makes up 35.5% of in-store gross profits at c-stores.

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