Most of us have probably heard of 7 Eleven, given their ubiquitousness across retail stores in North America. They are perhaps best known for their yellow and red packaging, their catchy jingle and their delicious 19-inch frozen pizza. If you’re not familiar, 7 Eleven is a chain of convenience stores with over 400 locations across North America. If you’ve ever been inside one of their stores you’ll know that their products are always fresh and ready to eat, which is perhaps why many people have dubbed them as the “Ice Cream Carts of America.”
But did you know that 7 Eleven also operates a chain of restaurants under the same name? If so, you’ve probably also heard of the legendary 7 Eleven restaurant chain. If not, you might be wondering why there are two separate entities bearing the same name. Turns out that the restaurants and the retail stores are legally separate companies, meaning that they can have different owners, store names and menu items. The restaurants offer a variety of steaks, seafood and pasta dishes, as well as American classics like burgers and fries.
This corporate restructuring was made possible by way of an aggressive expansion strategy. The company more than doubled the number of restaurants in America from 40 to over 100, then doubled it again to over 200. The company now has more than 300 locations in 28 states, meaning that you’re almost certainly near one if you’re still wondering where you can eat delicious ice cream. If not, you can make a beeline for one of their convenient stores near you to satisfy your sweet tooth.
A Brief History Of The Restaurant Chain
The first iteration of the 7 Eleven chain was established in Chicago in 1929 by the Seagram brothers. The original concept was to create a drive-in restaurant concept using a modern take on the traditional car hop. The idea for the restaurant chain was inspired by their involvement in the brewing industry, which had made them familiar with the concept of delivery. Back in those days, most customers would get their soda, beer and meal delivered to their cars. Thus, the birth of the 7 Eleven restaurant chain.
The chain was initially very successful, due in part to its novelty. The average cost of a meal was just 28 cents in those days, and the Seagram brothers’ innovative pricing strategy helped turn a profit at every location. According to legend, the hamburger-and-fry combo was introduced to the United States in the 1930s by the 7 Eleven restaurants. These restaurants would serve what is considered to be the first frozen custard in America, creating a new dessert trend that continues to this day. Fast forward to 1965, and you’ll find the 7 Eleven restaurants expanding outside of the US for the first time. This was due, in part, to anti-smoking legislation and the cultural phenomenon that was the “swimming pool era”. It wasn’t just about selling ice cream and snack foods back then; people were eating out more, and restaurants served as a welcome and comfortable alternative to families staying in.
The Rise Of Multi-generational Family Meals
It wasn’t just about selling ice cream and snack foods back in the day. The restaurants of the 1960s and 1970s served as community centers and grew to embody a spirit of cooperation and family. This was due, in part, to the Civil Rights Movement and the “traditional” family units that it encouraged. According to 7 Eleven, when the chain opened its first restaurant in Canada in 1968, customers expected food akin to what they were accustomed to at home. This is evidenced by the fact that diners ordered the exact same items they were served at their local grocery store. One of the most popular items on the menu was the chicken salad, which was a take on the traditional Greek salad. What made this particular dish distinctive was the inclusion of chicken and Italian dressing. This was a nod to Italian-American culture, which was popular at the time.
The next few decades were good to the 7 Eleven restaurant chain. In the 1980s, diners were changing the way they ate and the venue where they did. This was evidenced by the growth of takeout and delivery services, as well as casual dining. What’s more, family meals became a thing of the past, as people were increasingly dining out alone or with close family members. Thanks to technology, people also began to work remotely, which meant that they were often separated from their families, even if they lived nearby.
Casual Dining And Family Reunions
The last 40 years have seen the 7 Eleven restaurant chain evolve with the times. The original frozen custard was eventually replaced by ice cream, and now the restaurants offer a variety of gelato, soft-serve and other frozen desserts. These days, diners are looking for convenient places to eat that are easy to reach, meaning that the notion of family dining is alive and well at these restaurants. In fact, the modern version of the car hop has returned, albeit in a different form. Many of the restaurants are located in suburban areas, which means that they are accessible to a wider audience. What’s more, many of the locations offer a relaxed, casual environment that is welcoming to families, as well as large social gatherings. This is evidenced by the fact that several of the restaurants are owned by or collaborate with sports teams, creating official team diners that can enjoy a meal before a game.
These days, the 7 Eleven restaurant chain sells more than just snacks and desserts. They also offer a variety of meat, seafood and pasta dishes that are prepared using the same recipes that their customers know and love. Many of the restaurants are also quite festive, meaning that large groups of families, friends and coworkers can enjoy a meal together, sharing tales of their travels and experiences. This evolution from drive-in diner to multi-generational family reunion has not gone unnoticed by consumers. In fact, several food blogs and reviewers cite the chain’s unique combination of affordability and quality as reasons why families and individuals should visit or dine at these restaurants. What’s more, some restaurants offer a taste of the country they’re named after, reflecting global trends and cultural exchange, as well as providing an experience that is truly unique to each location.
Quality And Affordability
When you enter a 7 Eleven restaurant you’ll find a variety of food items displayed in a manner that is both appealing and easy to grasp. For a chain whose locations are so spread out, this is no easy feat. In order to ensure that each product is of the highest quality, the chain’s restaurants are extensively inspected and verified by third-party inspectors. All of the food is prepared using recipes handed down from generation to generation, with many items being modified or tweaked to fit the tastes of modern diners. There’s also an extensive menu of American classics, as well as popular international dishes and side options such as Japanese, Chinese, Italian and Greek style foods. What’s more, many locations offer a salad bar, so patrons can get all of the vegetables they need to make the perfect green salad. This accessibility and familiarity with recipes helps maintain quality while keeping prices low. For those seeking thrills and adventure, you can also find the oddball items that the chain is known for, like the frog legs and quail dishes, which are served by employees in costumes.
A Place To Meet And Eat In The Company Of Friends
Even if you’re not hungry after all of that reading, you should visit a 7 Eleven near you. Not only do their restaurants offer a place to eat and meet with friends, but they also allow for some privacy. Unlike some restaurants, which serve as a gathering place for families and social gatherings, the 7 Eleven brand is primarily known for creating a relaxed atmosphere, where business and leisure converge. If you need a place to eat that is both convenient and affordable, as well as offer some privacy to boot, then you should visit a 7 Eleven near you.