Wawa Is Doubling Down On Its Catering Business?
Wawa first began catering its signature products in 2018. Now, through its partnership with ezCater, the company is strengthening its program by launching Wawa Catering from its growing C-store network of over 1,000 locations.
The entire system in Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey, Maryland, Virginia, Florida, and Washington, DC, will now offer signature sandwiches, including the company’s Sizzleri, in the ezCater marketplace.
As part of its catering menu, Wawa will offer a variety of breakfast, coffee, and lunch items, either individually wrapped or on trays.
The partnership comes as many C-stores, including Wawa, are increasing their focus on food service programs;
Wawa recently added a drive-thru format and rolled out a new dinner menu. It has also partnered with a third-party delivery company to offer food service options.
These efforts are likely driving store visits; according to Placer.ai traffic data, visits to Wawa were up 60% in the first week of January 2023 compared to January 2020.
The company is also on a rapid growth trajectory, having recently reached the 1,000th store milestone, with plans to expand into new markets such as Ohio, Indiana, and Kentucky.
Meanwhile, the catering business is also experiencing a robust post-pandemic resurgence, with a projected compound annual growth rate of nearly 5% through 2028, according to Imarc Impactful Insights;
Toast’s “Voice of the Restaurant Industry Survey, catering is one of the top three preferred channels for operators this year, with ezCater’s 2022 bookings up 87% year over year.
As Wawa pushes further into catering, the company will be able to capitalize on that demand and continue to gain a particular share of the food service sector.
According to the National Association of Convenience Stores’ “State of the Industry 2022,” food service will account for 22.5% of convenience store-in-store sales in 2021, up significantly from 16.8% in 2011.
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