C-stores Give QSRs a Run for Their Money

Your most significant competitor might not be a chain, but a channel. Nearly everyone in the U.S. goes to quick service restaurants. In fact, 97% of those who buy fast food visit a QSR. However, a two-thirds majority also shopped at a c-store for food eaten away from home. Your biggest competition right now is c-stores, but competition varies across the country. Here’s a closer look.

Who uses c-stores for fast food purchases?

Percent of the U.S. population by market:

(Hover over cities below to reveal more insights)

60% — Philadelphia, PA 60%

Philadelphia, PA

Philly has the highest penetration of people using C-stores for prepared food.
51% — Baltimore, MD 51%

Baltimore, MD

Baltimore has the fastest growing usage of c-stores among these markets.
51% — Richmond, VA 51%

Richmond, VA

The people of Richmond increased their frequency of use across all channels.
49% — Los Angeles, CA 49%

Los Angeles, CA

LA posted a decline in penetration for all channels, which could mean a shift to meals eaten at home.
46% — Phoenix, AZ 46%

Phoenix, AZ

In Phoenix, QSRs are growing visit share, while other channels declined or are flat.
43% — San Antonio, TX 43%

San Antonio, TX

San Antonio shows unit growth in QSRs. Frequency of using QSRs is also up.
40% — Miami, FL 40%

Miami, FL

The Miami market posts unit growth for full-service restaurants. This has negatively affected penetration in fast-food across channels.
35% — Macon, GA 35%

Macon, GA

In Macon, people are using c-stores more often for meals away from home.


Dig deeper into foodservice performance and trends with the QSR Market Monitor. It’s a better, faster, and less expensive way to track brand performance. Make strategic decisions at the local level to have the greatest impact on national and regional sales performance.

Source: The NPD Group/QSR Market Monitor