Maverik Voted the No. 1 C-Store Chain for Food

The convenience retailer features BonFire, which makes burritos, salads, pizzas and more.

May 15, 2023

ALEXANDRIA, Va.—The recent NACS State of the Industry numbers showed that foodservice is the top sales and profit driver in convenience stores, and a USA Today poll examined why: Because people love the food.

“Gas stations, convenience stores and truck stops are more than just a place to grab a quick bite when you're on the go,” writes USA Today. “They're serving up delicious food and snacks that make them destinations in and of themselves, from fried chicken and pizza to organic salads and veggie burritos.”

Readers of USA Today have voted Maverik as the top convenience store for food.

Maverik’s foodservice offering is BonFire Grill, which is a made-to-order concept that has grown to become a larger component of the store offering, prominently featured in select Maverik locations. With an open-kitchen approach and more square footage dedicated to both front-of-house and back-of-house foodservice, food is a focal point visually as well as operationally.

“We create a branding experience for food with red canopy signage and a similar branding approach [to the Adventure theme] with graphics to create an eye-dropping experience,” said Sarah Kovac, director of architecture and engineering for Maverik, in a recent NACS Magazine article. “It signals a different experience to the guest than grabbing an item from the cold case, which they can still opt to do if they want. BonFire includes a bit more theater; there is a trust you gain from customers by showing what you are doing.”

The remaining top 10 stores are:

No. 2: QuickChek
No. 3: Kwik Trip
No. 4: Parker’s
No. 5: Dodge’s Southern Style
No. 6: TravelCenters of America
No. 7: Rutter’s
No. 8: Casey’s
No. 9: Buc-ee’s
No. 10: Royal Farms

In February, No. 6 TravelCenters of America opened its new restaurant concept Fork & Compass, which was created to provide a reimagined experience for professional drivers, motorists and local residents. Designed to be a destination spot for the community, the restaurant has unique food options for all ages in a family-friendly atmosphere.

“It is truly an honor to be recognized as a leader in providing our guests with a variety of attractive food options,” said Jon Pertchik, chief executive officer of TravelCenters of America, in a statement. “Our dynamic executive chef is focused on transforming our recipes and menus, and we are proud to continue our collaboration with the world-renowned Cleveland Clinic to help improve the health and wellness of professional drivers and other travelers who visit us. We look forward to continuing to focus on our restaurants and food offerings at our travel centers nationwide.”

In September, TA and Cleveland Clinic announced a collaboration to improve the health of truck drivers. The partnership means healthier options for dining and snacks at all TA locations.

The Fork & Compass menu highlights healthy options recommended by Cleveland Clinic. These include a veggie omelet and a yogurt parfait for breakfast and entrees such as salmon and grilled chicken and sides that include broccoli and sliced tomatoes.

According to USA Today, the nominees were submitted by a panel of experts. 10Best editors narrowed the field to select the final set of nominees for the Readers’ Choice Awards. Readers were allowed to vote once per category, per day.

Forbes recently reported that convenience stores could be taking market share from quick-serve restaurants. “As c-stores upgrade their foodservice offerings to be on par with QSRs, consumers may be more likely to choose the option that is most convenient for them,” writes Forbes. “Speed is one factor, but so is location and additional offerings, like gas or beer. For the latter, the scale will always tip in c-stores’ favor.”

Don’t miss the article “Competing With QSRs” in NACS Magazine, and check out “Pursuit of Healthiness,” which shares how c-stores can take part in the better-for-you food and drink trend to support their customers’ quest for good health.