First Laredo Taco Company Drive-Thru Opens at Newest 7-Eleven Evolution Store
March 24, 2021 // Franchising.com // IRVING, Texas - 7-Eleven taco-lovers rejoiced when beloved South Texas restaurant, Laredo Taco Company®, opened at the retailer's first 7-Eleven® Evolution Store in Dallas, Texas, two years ago. Today, customers have even more to taco 'bout as the premier name in convenience retailing unveils its first-ever Laredo Taco Company drive-thru restaurant, located at Park Lane and Abrams Road in Dallas. The drive-thru restaurant, with indoor seating as well, shares space with the newest 7-Eleven Evolution Store - the third such store in Dallas and the sixth in the country.
7-Eleven, Inc. is driving home its commitment to innovation with these Evolution Stores, and no two are exactly alike. This marks the first time 7-Eleven, Inc. has operated a corporate-owned drive-thru restaurant at one of its stores.
"This is delicious news for customers of both 7-Eleven and Laredo Taco Company," said Chris Tanco, 7-Eleven executive vice president and chief operating officer. "7-Eleven is known as a beverage destination, and Laredo Taco Company makes some of the best quick-serve Mexican food anywhere. Throw in the convenience of grabbing a taco paired with a Slurpee drink through a drive-thru, and it's a match made in heaven."
Laredo Taco Company is famous for its authentic tacos served on handmade flour tortillas that are made from scratch in its restaurants every day and fresh salsa bar with a wide selection of salsas and pico de gallo. Tacos and meals include specialties not always seen in quick-serve Mexican restaurants such as authentic beef barbacoa, chorizo, carne asada, carnitas and breakfast tacos made with fresh-cracked eggs. Drive-thru hours are from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m., Sunday - Thursday, and 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, with an all-day menu and meals for "Los Niños" that include a side and a small drink. Breakfast is served from 5 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. and features a wide variety of breakfast tacos and breakfast bowls.
At the new Laredo Taco Company drive-thru, taco fans can now order a Slurpee drink with their meal in a single stop, which is also a first for the iconic 7-Eleven beverage. If breakfast is too early for a Slurpee drink, customers can choose a cup of fresh-brewed coffee. Hot or iced coffee and espresso drinks such as lattes and cappuccinos are also available. Other beverage choices include aguas frescas, fountain drinks, iced tea, as well as Topo Chico sparkling mineral water and other bottled and canned drinks such as water, juice, energy and sports drinks. All told, drive-thru customers can choose from over 30 beverages and even more food options and combinations.
Inside the restaurant, diners can toast their tacos with wine-based frozen margaritas, beer or wine. Beer, wine and several flavors of wine-based frozen margaritas are on tap in the Laredo Taco Company Restaurant for on-premise consumption. Margarita flavors include classic, strawberry, swirl, watermelon, sangria, melon and prickly pear.
As a beverage destination, 7-Eleven is always looking for new thirst-quenchers, and the Evolution Stores are where some of new drink ideas make their debuts. Refreshing smoothies, shakes, sodas, flavored still and sparkling waters, and cold brew coffee can be customized as well. Unique sodas are a new Evolution Store feature, with flavors such as ginger beer, black cherry, pineapple coconut, diet key lime and diet cherry vanilla. Sparkling and still water flavors include lemon ginger, strawberry rose, coconut lime, cucumber mint and mango.
Each 7-Eleven Evolution Store is an experiential testing ground, where customers can try and buy the retailer's latest innovations in a pioneering store format. Already this year, the retailer plans to open new concept stores in North Texas and Manassas, Virginia, with more planned later in the year. 7-Eleven opened four Evolution Stores last year in New York City, Washington, D.C., San Diego and Dallas. All include a restaurant concept, and the retailer continues to tweak the design and product mix based on customer feedback and shopping habits. The most popular features have become staples that knowing customers seek out.
In addition to Laredo Taco Company, the 7-Eleven Evolution Store at Park and Abrams offers an assortment of exclusive products, services and features customized to the neighborhoods and customers they serve. The most popular features include self-serve specialty coffee and espresso drinks, on-tap novelty beverages, cookies and croissants baked fresh in-store, a wide selection of national brand skincare and cosmetics items, and The Wine Cellar and Beer Cave, dedicated to an enhanced and expansive selection of wine, beer and specialty alcoholic beverages. Larger-than-life murals painted by local muralist Tex Moton and an expanded assortment of premium and better-for-you items are stocked keep customers coming back.
The new store is one of a growing number to offer mobile checkout and delivery. With the 7Rewards® loyalty program, in-store customers can skip the checkout counter and pay for their purchases on their phone. The convenient feature is found in the 7-Eleven app. The 7NOW® delivery app also lets customers order favorite 7-Eleven foods, beverages, groceries and household products to be delivered straight to their door.
"While opening the first Laredo Taco Company drive-thru restaurant with a 7-Eleven store would be exciting any time, we think customers looking for socially distanced ways to grab breakfast, lunch and dinner will really appreciate it now," Tanco said. "Soon I hope, ordering tacos and beverages for in-person get-togethers with family and friends will be the norm once again."
As the world continues to respond to the shifting pandemic, 7-Eleven has enhanced its standards and procedures for hygiene, handwashing, sanitation, food handling and preparation in stores, including increased frequency of cleaning high-touch surfaces and self-serve food and beverage areas. All store associates are required to wear masks and gloves when serving customers. The retailer has installed acrylic shields at checkout registers as added protection for customers and employees. Customers are asked to practice physical distancing in stores by standing 6 feet away from each other in line, and also have access to disposable gloves, tissues and sanitizer stations while shopping.
7-Eleven acquired the Laredo Taco Company restaurants along with Stripes® convenience stores in South Texas as part of the 1,000-store acquisition from Sunoco in 2018.
SOURCE 7-Eleven, Inc.
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