Wawa Expands Catering Services in Partnership with ezCater, Meeting Growing Demand”
Wawa, the beloved convenience store chain known for its signature sandwiches and coffee, is expanding its catering program in a strategic partnership with ezCater. With over 1,000 locations and growing, Wawa will now offer its catering services through the ezCater marketplace, catering to businesses across Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey, Maryland, Virginia, Florida, and Washington, DC.
The collaboration with ezCater allows Wawa to extend its reach to more business customers, providing them with fresh and convenient options for breakfast, meetings, and corporate events. Steve Hackett, the director of Digital Experience at Wawa, expressed enthusiasm about the partnership, highlighting how it enables the company to provide even greater convenience to the business community.
As part of the catering menu, Wawa will offer a diverse selection of individually packaged or tray-based breakfast, coffee, and lunch items. This move comes as Wawa and other convenience stores are increasingly focusing on their foodservice programs. Wawa has been actively expanding its offerings, introducing drive-thru formats, launching a new dinner menu, and partnering with third-party delivery companies to ensure its foodservice options are easily accessible. These efforts have resulted in a significant increase in visits, with foot traffic to Wawa locations in January 2023 being 60% higher compared to the same period in 2020.
The timing of Wawa’s catering expansion aligns with the post-pandemic resurgence in the catering industry. Imarc Impactful Insights forecasts a compound annual growth rate of nearly 5% for the catering business through 2028. According to Toast’s Voice of the Restaurant Industry Survey, catering is one of the top three priority channels for operators this year. ezCater, in particular, experienced an 87% year-over-year increase in bookings in 2022.
By further investing in catering, Wawa is well-positioned to capitalize on this growing demand and continue its success in the competitive foodservice space. The National Association of Convenience Stores’ 2022 State of the Industry report revealed that foodservice accounted for 22.5% of in-store sales at convenience stores in 2021, a significant increase from 16.8% in 2011.
With its reputation for quality and convenience, Wawa’s expansion into catering through the ezCater partnership is a strategic move that enables the company to meet the evolving needs of its customers while tapping into the thriving catering market. As Wawa celebrates its 1,000th store milestone and plans expansion into new markets, its foray into catering reaffirms its commitment to providing exceptional food and service to an ever-expanding customer base.