Foodservice has grown consistently month-to-month, but isn’t back to pre-pandemic levels.
Will Foodservice make a full recovery?

Foodservice in c-stores is performing a great deal better than in the not-so-distant past. However, the category still has some ground to make up for a full recovery. All the while, according to NPD Group advisor, David Portalatin, “The QSR (restaurant) segment, ideally suited for today’s new consumer realities, is performing very near pre-pandemic traffic level.” Is QSR success possibly holding back a c-store foodservice rebound?

Overall, there’s no definitive link between QSR growth and why foodservice has not yet caught up to pre-pandemic levels. The category has grown consistently month-to-month faster than seasonal demands would suggest.

So, what is holding foodservice back? Workforce absence from offices is surely a contributor. Low pump-to-store conversion isn’t helping either. However, could it be a gap in quality, price-value, or freshness (the top-ranking attributes cited in a recent CSNews report)?

C-stores are well positioned to deliver on those attributes and the food+ mission customers seek to satisfy. While labor shortage for c-store associates is a real and pressing challenge, c-stores can take action by getting back to basics and creating price-value by bundling Foodservice with other categories. They can also relentlessly focus on product variety and bundling that’s suitable for the daypart occasion (breakfast, lunch, afternoon meal bridge). Partnering with suppliers is essential for c-store operators to build and deliver what consumers are seeking.

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