Cstore Breakfast Foodservice by the Numbers

May 5, 2017 6:00:00 AM by Bess Couture


Breakfast has long been touted as the most important meal of the day, and whether your #teambreakfast or #teambrunch, it’s hard to miss breakfast as a huge profit maker for the convenience channel. In CSP’s 2016 The Business of Food report, 62% of consumers reported purchasing prepared food from a cstore, this is a 10 point increase from last year. Couple that with the fact that 55% reported buying breakfast at c-stores AND the fact that Millennials and Generation Z are both more likely to buy food from a c-store than any generation previously and you can see where this trend is going.

Today we look at cstore breakfast foodservice, strictly from a numbers point of view. Seriously, these statistics are so good, they deserve a blog post of their own! We’ll also discuss how important cstore breakfast is to any foodservice strategy and how you can improve your profits with some simple tips for managing your breakfast program. So grab your coffee, and a breakfast sandwich and let’s dive right in.



33% of Consumers Eat Breakfast Away from Home

There are a million reasons why a person might eat breakfast away from home, but here are the top five reasons consumers chose to purchase breakfast from a cstore, as listed in a recent Kellogg Co. study.

  • Need a quick bite or option
  • Something to hold them over
  • Something while shopping
  • Morning energy or fuel
  • Traveling to work or school

It’s important to understand the why behind the buy, as this allows you to tailor your breakfast line up to be most appealing to your audience. For example, knowing that people are eating while shopping or while traveling to work or school, you need to offer breakfast items that are easy to eat, portable and handheld. A plate of eggs and bacon or a bowl of oatmeal isn’t going to appeal to a person with limited time, who is on the move. In this example, a breakfast sandwich or breakfast burrito is a much better solution.


Over 60% of Americans Drink Coffee Daily AND 47% of Consumers Want Hot Breakfast Items to go with their Morning Coffee

When more than half the population enjoys a beverage, you’d be foolish not to offer it. Coffee has a super low barrier to entry and as such, most convenience stores are already selling it. The next logical step is to begin selling items that pair well with coffee. Whether it’s freshly baked muffins and baked goods or a biscuit sandwich, you’ve got almost 50% of your audience craving food to go with their coffee.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed with the idea of stepping into foodservice to accompany your coffee: start small. You can open yourself up to an entire menu of items with the simple addition of a high speed oven to your lineup. MultiChef, for example, can bake, roast, reheat, toast, melt and steam foods. So you can add baked goods, breakfast sandwiches and even breakfast pizza all to your menu with just one piece of cooking equipment. See, cstore breakfast CAN be easy!

Foodservice Items at Cstores have a 57% Profit Margin, Compared to only 27% Profit Margin on Non-Foodservice Items

When you’re looking at what is going to make you the most amount of profit over time, foodservice is where it’s at. You can make over double the profit on a foodservice item than you can on a non-foodservice item. Seriously, double! And some foodservice items do even better than that – think about the cost to make a breakfast sandwich, versus how much you can actually sell it for!

It’s also important to know that almost one third of all cstore traffic occurs during the breakfast/brunch rush – which means you’ve got the audience already, it’s just a matter of getting them to buy the items that will generate the most profit for you!


Translating Statistics into Profitable Dollars

The statistics are 100% in favor of cstore breakfast being the area to focus on when it comes to driving profits, but how do you make it all happen?

  • CstoreBreakfastIcons-01.pngCreate combos and meal deals – Believe it or not, consumers perceive value on combo meals even when there is no discount involved. In a 2010 study on the effects of bundling, researchers were shocked to find out that discount had no influence on the choice to order a combo meal, rather it’s the inherent convenience of a combo meal that is most appealing. Bottom line, if you want people to buy coffee AND a bagel, make it a combo meal!

  • CstoreBreakfastIcons-02.pngMaintain a clean store – we all know the greatest struggle for cstore foodservice success is changing the perception of “gas station food.” Cleanliness is the easiest way to promote a superior foodservice environment. Also, fear not, this perception is slowly fading as millennials and Gen-Z begin to shape the foodservice market. Both generations are not turned off by cstore food and actually find it quite convenient! As evident by the iced coffee and muffin sitting next to me as I write this blog.

  • CstoreBreakfastIcons-03.pngPromote at the pump – If you’re a cstore with a gas station, you know it can often be hard to get people inside when their just stopping to pump their gas. So why not promote at the pump? The Shell gas station by our office has a rotating video reel that promotes various deals while you pump. Since you’re just standing there, pumping gas, you’ve almost got no option but to watch what they’re selling!

  • CstoreBreakfastIcons-04.pngOffer breakfast all day – we all know the dayparts are starting to blend. Once McDonalds made the leap into all-day breakfast it seemed to give every other outlet a reason to do it too! If you can offer made-to-order items, offering breakfast all day can be an easy way to entice people to try new things at ANY time of the day!

  • CstoreBreakfastIcons-05.pngCreate a menu with variety – Variety is the spice of life, or so they say! And it should be no different with your menu. Sure you need to offer the classics, but throw in some seasonal or limited-time-offers to keep people engaged and wanting more. Check out neighboring restaurants, QSRs and cstores and see what your competition is offering. Is there anything missing from their line up? Make sure you offer that! Fill gaps and provide your customers with solutions they aren’t getting from other outlets!


Check out our Infographic

As a visual learner, I am a huge fan of infographics. So if this blog wasn’t your style, check out this infographic which covers the same statistics! Feel free to share it with friends you think might benefit from it most and as always,
Happy FRYday!


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