There was a three-way tie among retailers regarding the most challenging business factor in the next year. Tying at 97% were: food costs/commodity pricing, up 10 percentage points from last year; labor costs, up 15 points; and the labor pool, up 25 points. Distribution chain, at 84%, finished in fourth.

There also were changes regarding what retailers felt were the foodservice segments that suffered most during the pandemic. Bakery items tied with coffee for first on the list of eight this year, at 37%; last year, bakery items finished fifth at 11% and coffee second at 20%. Swipe fees retained first place on the list of legislative/regulatory concerns, leaping from 42% last year to 78%—a clear indication of retailers’ serious concerns.

Minimum wage held onto second, growing 28 percentage points to 69%. Foodservice safety jumped to third, at 55%, from last year’s fifth-place 31%. CBD regulations remained in last but grew from 8% to 13%.

About the Survey

CSP's 2023 State of C-Store Foodservice survey was conducted online from Feb. 20 to March 23. Of the more than 60 responses from retailers, 62% have 50 or fewer locations, 10% have more than 500. Regarding foodservice, 90% have dispensed beverages, 88% offer packaged foods, 81% carry supplier-prepared foods, 71% make food on-site, 40% have a QSR franchise and 24% have foods prepared in a chain-owned commissary.