convenience stores

Fast-food restaurants face competition from convenience stores

The fast-food market is becoming even more competitive, as convenience stores continue to get attention in this space. With persistent labour shortages, supply chain delays, and the significant growth of off-premise dining, many stores are expanding, capitalizing on higher food margins to help grow their profits.

Can convenience stores deliver what diners are looking for? Consumers think so, with 50 per cent of people believing that stores are just as capable of providing options that are as fresh as restaurants, often with even better value.

While fast-food restaurants rely on the “fast” to attract most guests, stores may have an advantage, offering quick service with a one-stop appeal for people looking for meals and a broader range of options. According to surveys, over 50 per cent of people buy snacks, 20 per cent buy grocery items, and 16 per cent buy alcoholic beverages at their local convenience stores.

While convenience stores offer a fast, one-stop option, restaurants may still have the upper hand with even faster service. Customers do not want to wait in line. In fact, 57 per cent of customers will leave and skip their purchase if there’s a lineup. With only one person ahead of them, 16 per cent will abandon their purchase, 30 per cent will leave if there are two people in line, and 54 per cent will not wait if there are three people or more in line ahead of them.

One in four customers visit convenience stores for lunch, but what food items are they buying? 30 per cent are buying fast food, 27 per cent leave with grab-and-go items, 25 per cent choose hot food, and 21 per cent are buying made-to-order meals.

With so much competition, quick-service restaurants will need to lean on marketing, shorter lines, and faster service to keep most customers choosing fast food over convenience stores.