Convenience Stores are a Surprising Threat to Quick Service Restaurants

6 minute read

When thinking about dining options, convenience stores don’t automatically come to mind, but industry data shows this might be changing. According to Bluedot, 59% of customers consider purchasing a meal from a convenience store when stopping for fast food. So, we dug into our data to see if our data agreed... and surprise, it did! Here is what we found: 

Convenience is stealing trip share from quick service

Since 2019 convenience share has increased 2 points. We know this increase is due to meal-like food share instead of normal convenience snacking because (1) we excluded all pay at pump transactions and (2) gas stations with more extensive menus (pizza, burgers) have higher walk-in rates than gas stations with “standard” offerings (soda, chips).  

Customers are using convenience mobile ordering channels

Convenience mobile ordering customer penetration has increased, growing from 0.5% in Q1 2019 to 1.1% in Q2 2022. 

Quick service is losing trips to convenience and full service restaurants

Consumer convenience trip share increased 0.05% from July 2021 to July 2022.  During that same period QSR trip share went down 1.2%. FSR was the largest share stealer, shifting 1.2% from QSR.

QSR is losing loyal customers

QSR’s lost trip share comes from loyal and frequent customers. Loyal customers’ QSR trip share went down 2.3% while frequent customers’ share went down 0.4%.  Interestingly, one-timers, light & Infrequent customers altogether grew their QSR trip share by 2.1%. 

What does this mean for you?

Our data tells us that QSR needs to pay close attention to both conventional and non-conventional competitors. Specifically, special attention needs paid to maintaining loyal customers via reducing churn and boosting retention. Luckily Cardlytics can help you do just that!  Sign up to get our insights delivered to your inbox, early, and get ahead of what's happening in the restaurant industry

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