IRVING, Texas — 7-Eleven recently celebrated the updating of its 1,000th store to a new, elevated food and beverage platform, including espresso, nitro cold brew and tea and bean-to-cup coffee, as well as bake-in-store cookies and pastries.
Franchisees have been happy with increased sales, CEO Joe DePinto said in a LinkedIn post.
Customer feedback has been quite positive, too, according to Dave Strachan, innovation implementation leader at 7-Eleven. “From day one, customers have told us how much they love the new 7-Eleven food and beverage platforms and all the additions that have gone along with it,” he said.
The new coffee beverage setup—equipment and products—was introduced to franchisees in Long Island, “a coffee-lovers market” Strachan said, “and the same place we introduced coffee in to-go cups to the world almost 60 years ago.”
See CSP’s 20 Great Coffee Programs roundup here.
Read on for more about 7-Eleven’s new platform …
Specialty coffee machine
“We have dramatically expanded and enhanced our hot and cold beverage menu as a result of our biggest beverage bar renovation ever,” Strachan said.
The first piece is a specialty coffee machine, where customers tap the screen to select their favorite specialty coffee drinks—lattes, espressos, cappuccinos, Americanos and more.
Made-to-order options include size, dark espresso roast or medium espresso, hot or cold, and whole or skim milk. Serious coffee-drinkers can add a double espresso shot as well.
“These new machines are state of the art,” Strachan said. “We went through several rounds of testing until we found equipment we thought was worthy of our coffee customers, with touchscreens, bean-to-cup technology and the ability to offer more drink options and ways to customize them than ever before.
“There are over 3,000 ways for customers to customize their coffees,” he said.
Customers can top off their drink of choice with flavored syrups, creamers, sweeteners and toppings at the expanded condiment station, at no extra charge.
“As with all 7‑Eleven beverages, the cup size determines the price, not what goes in it—whether it's a tall hot cup of Colombian or an iced latte with nonfat milk, an extra shot of espresso and sugar-free hazelnut syrup,” Strachan said. “The cost of a custom cup is a far cry from typical coffeehouse prices.”
Bake in store
7-Eleven added bake-in-store croissants, pastries and cookies, which have been a “game changer,” Strachan said. “Two of the best smells in the world are fresh coffee brewing and baked goods in the oven. Our customers love getting their coffee brewed from freshly ground beans on demand and then turning around to a warm croissant, fresh out of the oven.”
Store teams bake product multiple times throughout the day.
Grab and go
Other additions include self-serve roller grills and hot food cases, making it easier to grab and go. Hot food cases have pre-packed options such as sliders, mini tacos, chicken wings, pizza slices and more. Roller grill offerings include Big Bite hot dogs and taquitos.
“And we continue to up our game in fresh-to-go foods in the cold case: salads, sandwiches, cut fruit, entrees that can be heated in the store or at home,” Strachan said.
Cue the comments
7-Eleven received resounding positive feedback through social media, the 7-Eleven app and customer service outlets, Strachan said. “Overall customer satisfaction at stores with the new food and beverage program have much higher customer satisfaction scores than stores without it.”
Sample customer comments include:
- “Everything out of the espresso machine has been awesome so far, and it’s definitely a reasonable price.”
- “The coffee machine is completely amazing. Best idea in a while!”
- “I love the new coffee machines. Tastes great every time.”
- “I love getting freshly ground beans in my coffee every morning.”
- “Better than [a well-known, upscale coffeehouse chain]: cheaper, faster, more bang for the buck. Overall, the best coffee experience in town.”
- “I love the new machine here. Espresso drinks for regular coffee is brilliant.”
“We’ll continue to roll out this program at stores nationwide as traffic, sales and customer satisfaction results continue to soar,” Strachan said.
Based in Irving, Texas, 7-Eleven Inc. operates, franchises or licenses more than 72,800 stores in 17 countries, including 12,000 in North America. It is No. 1 on CSP’s 2021 Top 40 update of the 2020 Top 202 ranking of U.S. c-store chains by store count.