As food prices continue to soar, two very specific brands are posting big upticks in foot traffic: convenience stores Wawa and 7-Eleven are emerging as strong alternatives to the quick-service restaurant category, and they’ve got the numbers to prove it.

Wawa, which has previously announced plans to grow its stable of stores to 1,800 by 2030, has experimented in recent years with drive-through dining formats and has built out its menu to include dinner staples like hamburgers. And the pivot has served the chain well, according to analysts: visits to Wawa “exploded” during Q4 2022, and visits to the chain were up year-over-year almost every week of the quarter. Year-over-three-year foot traffic increased by 81.3% as of December 2022. And the average number of visits per venue also increased by 41.4% during that time, “indicating that the chain’s expansion is meeting a ready demand,” analysts say.

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Lynn Pollack


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