7-Eleven is aggressively expanding in the QSR space.
The convenience store giant opened the latest version of its “evolution” store format in Manassas, Virginia. It is the first to feature two quick-serve restaurant options in one location. The restaurants — 7-Eleven’s Raise the Roost Chicken and Biscuits, which debuted a year ago in Manhattan, and Parlor Pizza, featuring made-to-order pizzas — are located side by side inside the store, with separate ordering counters and shared indoor and outdoor seating.
The evolution format is designed as an experiential testing ground where customers can try and buy the retailer's latest innovations in a unique store format. In addition to the Manassas location, the retailer operates evolution stores in North Texas, New York City, Washington, D.C., and San Diego. While no two are exactly alike, all evolution stores include a restaurant concept.
"Since 7-Eleven began selling milk and bread from an ice dock in 1927, our spirit of innovation has allowed us to evolve to meet the ever-changing needs of customers for over 90 years," said 7-Eleven executive VP and COO Chris Tanco. "Today's opportunity is in the QSR space, and we are responding by aggressively rolling out our restaurants across the country – both in Evolution Stores and beyond. Our plan is to open nearly 150 restaurants in 2021."
A handful of brands that previously participated in 7-Eleven’s invitation-only Sips and Snacks emerging brands program have shelf space at the store. The items are available exclusively at the Manassas location. (Sips and Snacks is an invitation-only showcase for up-and-coming entrepreneurs to present their most innovative products. Franchisees and company employees vote on their favorites, and the hand-picked winners land on store shelves.)