CHICAGO — As the coronavirus spreads and convenience-store brands fight to flatten the curve, multiple chains have halted self-serve food and beverage options in their stores.
Here’s a look at some of the chains that have done so …
7-Eleven’s self-serve offerings such as taquitos, hot dogs, hot chicken wings and tenders and pizza will be clerk-served, the company said. Also, its fresh baked goods that are usually delivered daily will now be sold prepackaged. The fresh condiments bar has also been replaced with prepackaged options.
- Click here to read what else 7-Eleven is doing to combat the spread of COVID-19 in its stores.
Irving, Texas-based 7-Eleven Inc. operates, franchises or licenses more than 66,000 stores in 17 countries, including more than 9,300 in the United States. The retailer is No. 1 on the Top 40 update to CSP’s 2019 Top 202 ranking of U.S. c-store chains by number of retail outlets.
Pilot Co. has closed its self-serve food stations, including roller grills and soup stands, it said. Prepackaged deli food is available for purchase instead. Beyond that, all dining room seating in its travel centers and operated quick-service restaurants has closed, although takeout from the counter or the drive-thru is available.
Kwik Trip has suspended its self-serve food stations until further notice, it said. They include coffee and cappuccino bars, soda fountains, condiment bars, nacho cheese machines and soup bars. Kwik Trip has also closed its roller grills and bakery cases, although it will continue selling prepackaged roller grill items and baked goods.
- Click here to read what else Kwik Trip is doing to combat the spread of COVID-19 in its stores.
These products will still be available for delivery, and Kwik Trip has waived all delivery fees ordered via third-party app EatStreet through April.
Based in La Crosse, Wis., Kwik Trip has more than 700 stores in three states. The company is No. 13 on the Top 40 update of CSP's 2019 Top 202 ranking of convenience-store chains by number of retail locations.
Kum & Go
Kum & Go has suspended its self-serve food stations, including roller grills, self-serve bakeries and hot and cold fountain beverage refills. The company has also closed its self-serve condiment stations and is offering prepackaged condiments for customers. Moreover, all pizza served at Kum & Go must now be clerk-served instead of taken from the hot case. Kum & Go has also closed its seating area along with all forms of food sampling.
- Click here to read what else Kum & Go is doing to combat the spread of COVID-19 in its stores.
Based in Des Moines, Iowa, Kum & Go has nearly 400 stores in 11 states. The company is No. 18 on the Top 40 update of CSP's 2019 Top 202 ranking of convenience-store chains by number of retail locations.
TravelCenters of America
TravelCenters of America LLC (TA), along with its Petro Shopping Centers, has discontinued all food sales—including self-serve items—between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. in Tampa, Fla. Nationwide, the company has closed its buffets and soup and salad bars in its Iron Skillet and Country pride quick-service-restaurants.
Westlake, Ohio-based TravelCenters of America LLC operates more than 260 stores in 43 states. The retailer is No. 27 on the Top 40 update to CSP’s 2019 Top 202 ranking of U.S. c-store chains by number of retail outlets.
Love's Travel Stops & Country Stores
Love’s Travel Stops & Country Stores has discontinued self-serve fruit, fountain beverages and roller grill items in stores in Wisconsin. The company has also converted its deli from self-service to fully staffed in the state as well.
Oklahoma City, Okla.-based Love’s operates more than 500 stores in 41 states. The retailer is No. 16 on the Top 40 update to CSP’s 2019 Top 202 ranking of U.S. c-store chains by number of retail outlets.
As of March 23, Sheetz has suspended its self-serve coffee offerings, fountain beverages, fresh-brewed tea, frozen drinks and F’Real milkshakes due to COVID-19. Customers who would like to purchase a cup of coffee may use Sheetz’s touch-screen order points or ask an employee to pour some. Sheetz will continue offering a variety of drinks in its coolers as well as made-to-order coffee, smoothies and more.
Sheetz has also suspended its self-serve bakery items such as doughnuts and muffins during this time.
Stripes Stores, a division of 7-Eleven Inc., has discontinued its open-air hot food merchandisers for the time being. These items will be sold as pre-packaged items or must be served to customers by a team member on site. Stripes has also halted its fresh bakery program, and these items will only be available as pre-packaged options.
In addition to the recent operational changes due to COVID-19, Stewart’s Shops Corp. has suspended its self-service crock stations, including its soups, chili, meatballs, macaroni and cheese and other hot food items. The company has also discontinued its make-your-own hot dog program until further notice.
As of March 20, Wawa has altered its self-serve coffee, fountain beverage and Icee drink programs to strictly be served by an associate. Wawa is also individually bagging all self-serve bakery products for customers.