From debuting in-house menus to expanding original offerings and QSRs, here are some of the top meal moves convenience retailers have made this year.

How foodservice innovation dominated the c-store landscape in Q1

A chili bowl from Travel Center's of America's dinner menu. Permission granted by TravelCenters of America

While some customers still think of c-stores as a fuel-up spot with a “smokes and Cokes” store attached, many companies are changing those perceptions. Chains like Casey’s General Stores, Wawa and Buc-ee’s are becoming renowned for the meals customers can find inside. 

Retailers continue to innovate, with companies like TXB and Dash In putting a focus on fresh ingredients and made-to order items. One chain is even turning to robots to try to get a consistent experience from its kitchens.

This growth has put convenience retailers even more directly in competition with QSRs, as well.

As their foodservice presence grows, c-stores are also increasingly seen as sites where customers can find value for their meal dollars.

“Convenience stores are doing a good job in providing a variety of price points, from a cup of soup for just a few bucks to great value on a full pizza or party sub,” said Anne-Marie Roerink, principal of Lakeland, Florida-based consulting firm 210 Analytics.

Convenience retailers are taking advantage of this focus in different ways. Some chains are creating or expanding their own in-house foodservice programs. Others are inviting both new and familiar QSR partners into their buildings.

As the landscape continues to change, C-Store Dive has put together a selection of top foodservice-related news since the beginning of 2024. 

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