When McDonald’s announced that its stores would serve a selection of all-day breakfast items 24/7, the story received big headlines, although most news stories failed to mention that many convenience stores, such as 7-Eleven, Rutter’s, Nice N Easy Grocery Shoppes and Sheetz, have long offered around-the-clock breakfast foods, according to a report by the National Association of Convenience Stores.

“If we sell it, you can get it 24 hours a day,” said Ryan Krebs, director of foodservice for Rutter’s of York, Pennsylvania. “You can get chicken wings at 6:00 in the morning and a breakfast sandwich at 4:00 in the afternoon. People aren’t going to eat breakfast three times a day, but they are going to eat breakfast.” 

If you have a grill program and you have the space, all-day breakfast fare could be an easy opportunity as long as you don’t complicate it, advised Jeff Lenard, NACS vice president of strategic industry initiatives. “The challenge for anybody who wants to do multiple daypart sandwiches in the same daypart is how you execute it. How do you keep a simple menu and develop a simple process for cooking food quickly and getting people on their way?”

In addition to its upcoming January issue, the latest report from the NACS reFresh initiative, “Health & Wellness Trends and Strategies for the Convenience Store Sector,” prepared by the Hudson Institute on behalf of NACS, shows convenience retailers how to capitalize on the growing trend of consumers seeking better-for-you, more convenient products. More specifically, “the most important meal of the day” presents the healthiest opportunity for c-stores to exploit.

According to the research, while taste wins across all eating occasions (breakfast, lunch and dinner), nutrition is the highest attribute consumers are looking for at breakfast time.