7-Eleven trials catering platters

By Sarah Stowe | 20 May 2019 View comments

7-Eleven is trialling a catering service for a range of platters including sandwiches, wraps and sushi. Customers order online and collect the next day at select Melbourne stores.

Stephen Eyears, 7-Eleven’s head of strategy, innovation and business development, said constant trialling of new ideas is key to long term success.

“The rate of change in the convenience industry is getting faster every day. You’ve got to be extraordinary not just good in what you offer to stand out from your competitors. Committing to investing in innovation is key to making that possible,” he said.

“We’re of course working together across the business including with our franchise partners and store based teams on our plan for the next 12-18 months.

“However we want to try and explore what convenience might mean to our customers in 10 years and beyond. Trialling new offers, such as catering, will help us make informed choices about where the big opportunities are in the longer term,” Eyears said.

7-Eleven stores in Melbourne’s Exhibition Street, Collingwood, Prahran, Richmond, Chadstone, Altona West and Roxburgh Park are participating in the trial.

Customers place their order online before 8am for collection at their selected trial store the next day. For weekend collections, customers need to place the order by 8am Friday.

9 questions about 7-Eleven catering

Inside Franchise Business asked Stephen Eyears for more details…

1. Online ordering – is this new for the brand?

This online catering order system is brand new for 7-Eleven Australia. The trial is part of our focus on digital and innovation to make sure we’re meeting the needs of our customers.

The nature of what consumers are looking for from convenience is continually evolving, and the pace of that change is only getting quicker. We’re looking at ways we can provide what customers want, when and where it suits them.

We’re trialling and exploring a range of digital interactions including online ordering, digital payments and mobile check out.

2. What other areas of the business will this extend to?

The trial focuses on catering platter options at this stage but we’ll be looking at adding complementary products later in the trial.

3. Why make this move into catering?

While we have a great range of delicious sushi and sandwiches already available for our customers, they are less convenient for those looking to feed a crowd. Whether a customer needs to cater for a board room lunch, training day, or quickly and conveniently arrange food for a family gathering, this service can fill that gap.

4. Who is the target customer?

Our catering offer would suit businesses, families and social groups who want a simple range of fresh, tasty food at a great value price point and want the convenience of ordering online and collecting at the time and store that suits them.

5. Where are the platters made?

Our platters are made to order by our sandwich and sushi suppliers in each state.

6. Who gets the value of the sale – the franchisor or local franchisee?

This trial is operating in corporate stores, and is intended to test customer need and feedback on the offer. Our focus is growing sustainable success across our network, and helping our franchisees to maximise the growth potential of their businesses in the long term as customers’ needs continue to evolve.

7. How long will this trial be?

The trial will run for approximately two to six months. It’s designed to be agile, and help us to learn fast. We’ll make adjustments where required to generate great insight to help us determine viability of the idea, and then determine what next steps might look like.

8. If successful, how will you develop the catering stream?

One of the benefits of 7-Eleven’s mix of corporate and franchised stores is that we can try and refine a range of new concepts in corporate stores. Then we can make any critical adjustments before we extend trials or rollouts to franchised stores.  Once we’ve completed the beta trial, options include extending the trial in Melbourne and potentially to other states.

9. Is delivery a long term plan if this trial proves successful?

We’re looking at what the next five to 10 years are going to look like as customer needs evolve. It’s important that we test and trial a range of solutions that might meet those needs, including delivery solutions.