TheDallas Morning Newsreported on plans by Dallas-based 7-Eleven Inc.to roll out an expanded convenience store foodservice program.

Specifically, the paper said 7-Eleven is expanding its hot foods selection and adding items such as pepperoni pizza and chicken wings to 115 Dallas-area stores. The program is part of a nationwide rollout that is bringing ovens made by TurboChef Technologies to 1,400 7-Eleven stores this year.

7-Eleven has offered grilled hot dogs since the early 1980s, but a spokeswoman said this marks the first widespread use of the high-speed TurboChef oven that combines radiant heat, microwave and convection cooking technologies.

Stores with the new hot food program will be able to serve items such as four-cheese and pepperoni pizza (whole or by the slice), white-meat chicken tenders and three varieties of chicken wings – spicy, breaded; Asian; and barbecue.

For breakfast, stores chosen by the company to participate in the hot food program also will sell sausage, egg and cheese quesadillas and hash browns. Prices range from 79 cents for two hash browns to $9.99 for a large pizza.

The move marks a further escalation of 7-Eleven's move away from tobacco products and into food.

"Food service is our future," said 7-Eleven spokeswoman Margaret Chabris, "We realized this in the 1990s with declining tobacco sales and rising tobacco regulation."

She said hot food – which began as a test in 2007 in Salt Lake City – accounts for 30 percent of the brand's food offerings, which also include fresh fruit, salads and sandwiches.

"Customers want speed, value and convenience, which is our niche," she added. "We see a big opportunity with hot foods."

For November and December, some stores will have a banner offering a whole pizza for $6.99. Starting next year, the company will have a menu board over the hot foods area inside the store.

-- Source: Dallas Morning News