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Industry Innovation

How C-Stores Can Compete (And Outmatch) Quick Service Restaurants

Competition Between Quick Service Restaurants and C-Stores Is Fierce

abstact of sandwiches ready to be served

hen you walk into your convenience store, you see more than just drinks, chips, and hot dogs. You see a confluence of food service technology, efficient pricing and increasing selection and performance on a par with Quick Service Restaurants (QSRs).

The question is, how exactly can you get your convenience store to compete with -- and outmatch -- the quick service restaurant, or QSR, next door?  Here's a rundown on how your c-store can outdo the QSR competition in the months ahead.

Let's get started!

Bundled Value Meals

One of the best ways to beat the quick service restaurant competition is to offer bundled meals. This will allow your convenience store to be more than just the place where customers buy gas in 2023. As part of your bundled value meals, you can offer each customer a center plate, a side, and a beverage. You should then play up these meals' value in your store's marketing materials.

For instance, you can emphasize that your value meal may cost a customer just $3. Meanwhile, for a similar type of meal, they may pay a couple of dollars more at your local fast food restaurants.


You can also outshine the QSR competition in your local area by offering a wider range of beverages than quick service restaurants typically provide. These drinks include fountain drinks, bottled water, canned beverages, and even hot drinks.

Be sure to promote to customers that they can conveniently purchase yummy snacks along with their favorite drinks morning, noon, and night. Also, try to include brand-name products, as this may further motivate consumers to buy.

Prepared Food Options

Another way to make your c-store stand out in the QSR landscape is to offer a premium food program. Through this program, customers can take advantage of extensive grill offerings. You can also offer hot food items that you make to order. After all, your convenience store doesn't have to be characterized by heavy junk food sales. Likewise, you don't have to limit your store to cold food items that customers can grab quickly, like cold wraps, sandwiches, and sushi rolls.

With your prepared-on-site foods, you should stress to customers the value, quality, and freshness of your meals.

Be sure to provide healthy options as well. For instance, you can offer cheese and ham English muffins for breakfast, as well as steamy vegetable soup for lunch and dinner.

The demand for international-flavor food options and plant-based meals is also strong today. So, consider offering items, like plant-based meat, egg rolls, and empanadas, that satisfy this demand.

Also, if your products are locally made or sourced items, be sure to let your customers know this as well.

This is important because consumers often prefer the "local" label over the "organic" label. The reason for this is that consumers often view "local" items as healthier and fresher. They are also generally motivated to support the local economy.

Rewards Program

You can also make your c-store more attractive when compared with quick service restaurants by offering a rewards program. When people shop at retail stores or restaurants, they naturally want to get the biggest bang for their buck. The same is true for convenience stores.

For this reason, you should offer customers the chance to begin earning rewards simply for shopping at your store. Every time they buy from you, they can earn points. They can then later redeem these points for cost savings or free items.

For example, you may reward consumers with a free coffee after they have made five coffee purchases. The reward doesn't have to be complex or high technology. Even a simple reward can let consumers know how much you appreciate them and care about their business.

When you offer rewards, you give consumers a wonderful reason to return to your establishment. In addition, they'll have greater respect for you, and you can more easily gain their trust.

Additional Convenience Store Services

Finally, you can beat the quick service restaurant competition by providing extra services to your convenience store shoppers.

For instance, consider offering check cashing services as well as bill payment services. You can even provide cell phone sales. Yet another service option is an automated teller machine.

Providing these additional services offers a few benefits.

First, they can help you to provide more value to your existing customer base.

Second, they may help you to attract customers whom you otherwise may not have the opportunity to serve.

Third, these services can quickly boost your revenue. People generally aren't excited about having to tackle "adult tasks" like paying bills. But if they can treat themselves to a refreshing coffee or doughnut in the process, this may make the task more enjoyable.

How We Can Help You to Outmatch a Quick Service Restaurant

You can easily make your convenience store competitive against a quick service restaurant by providing rewards and extra services, like bill payment. Hot c-store food options and sundry beverages can also help you to create a stellar c-store experience. Fortunately, at It's All Goods, we can easily help you to secure the perfect products for your store. We'll partner with you to ensure an efficient purchase and product delivery process.

Get in touch with us to learn more about our services, and take your convenience store to the next level today!

October 27, 2023