For years, QSRs have reigned supreme at reflecting what consumers want out of a meal – fast and tasty. However, consumer tastes have continued to evolve and now they want more; “fast and tasty” has been replaced with “fast and fresh.”
And while QSRs scramble to accommodate this elevation in taste, convenience stores – traditionally viewed as a quick stop for just snacks and candy – are stepping up and offering fresh, made-to-order options in order to meet consumers’ growing demands.
C-stores may think they’re raising the bar…but what do actual consumers think?
According to a CivicScience poll*, 53% of consumers feel that made-to-order food from a convenience store is of equal or higher quality than that of a fast food restaurant. To reinforce that fact, both Sheetz and GetGo convenience stores (supermarket chain Giant Eagle) feature “fresh food prepared on-site (sandwiches, salads, etc.) that puts the pre-wrapped items of days past to shame."
In addition to the advancement in food quality, c-stores are using technology to further consumer satisfaction. “Some stores even have touchscreen ordering kiosks, where you can punch in your customized food desires.”* These digital touchscreens allow customers to easily order fresh sandwiches, soups, and more.
In addition, c-stores are also installing self-checkout touchscreens, giving consumers a fast, easy checkout alongside a fast, fresh meal.
These advancements in ordering technology are not just about pleasing customers; they also allow c-stores to compete with fast food restaurants in terms of service time.
So while QSRs are upping the ante by advertising healthier meal options, c-stores are giving them a run for their money with both freshly-made options and time-saving technology, while quickly shedding the stigma that consumers have to sacrifice food quality for quick service.*