There’s a reason that some many motivated and talented entrepreneurs are attracted to food franchises. They’re some of the most visible and popular businesses in the world, dealing with broad swathes of the population in an easy-going and affordable way. They’re so popular, in fact, that convenience store franchises are trying to get in on the act.
Over the last two months, 7-11, the biggest convenience store franchise there is, has been rolling out its hot food menu at units around the country. Their menus includes staples of many QSR franchises: hot dogs, wings, breakfast sandwiches, pizza, etc. In order to make the cooking process quicker and easier, 7-11 are supplying many stores with Turbochef ovens that can, say, heat a pizza in 90 seconds.
"We recognize there is a big appetite for hot foods, and (that) we could deliver it with great convenience and value," company spokeswoman Margaret Chabris told Pizza Marketplace. "It's a natural extension of our existing foods service program."
Now, as long as I can remember, convenience stores have sold some hot food, mostly hot dogs. They were the most appetizing-looking food. What’s interesting though is that Pizza Marketplace is reporting this story. This suggests that pizza indsiders and franchisors take the challenge from convenience stores very seriously.
The consumer’s first question will always be: well, is the food any good? At the moment, the pizza chains and franchises have a clear edge in the quality department. But let’s say 7-11 figure out a way to deliver a delicious pizza in 90 seconds. What kind of fall-out might that have for pizza franchises that compete for mass-market traffic on highways and in big population zones?
This will be something to watch over the next, as statistics roll in from 7-11. All pizza franchisors are now competing for a smaller piece of the pie – pardon the pun – at this economic time. I don’t think any of them expected to be competing with a business from outside their particular specialty, though. It's an interesting development, to say the least.