From chicken parm to mac and cheese, 7-Eleven hopes to sell you a "chef-inspired" dish for dinner.

Mike Pomranz
September 19, 2017

7-Eleven, though perfectly serviceable as a convenience store, is practically synonymous with last-ditch dining. It's to be expected when a large chunk of your menu can be served off of a hot dog roller. But as the whole world goes foodie, America's best-known convenience brand is willing to accept that a spinning Buffalo Chicken Taquito may not always cut it, and the chain has started testing locally made, chef-inspired, heat-and-eat meals.

Described as "convenient restaurant-quality meal solutions," these 15 new offerings available at select 7-Eleven stores in four metro areas "were created with inspiration from Italian, homestyle, Asian, and Mexican recipes" and "can be heated at the store for immediate consumption or taken to-go." All the menu items "are prepared in local kitchens using premium-quality ingredients and delivered daily to stores." The chain even goes so far as to say that it "benchmarks the ingredients and flavor profiles against restaurant-quality offerings."

"With these chef-inspired entrees, 7‑Eleven can provide busy individuals and families with a delicious, premium-quality, whole-meal solution in one stop," Kelly Buckley, 7‑Eleven vice president of fresh food innovation, said in a statement. "We want to take the hassle out of meal time with a variety of options and without giving up quality."

Available options include a variety of well-known staples from Chicken Parmesan to Macaroni and Cheese to a Chipotle Chicken Bowl. And starting September 25, 7-Eleven will be launching a few breakfast meals as well. Despite being known for its aforementioned hot dogs, the brand has been working hard to expand its food choices as of late including the addition of things like pizza and chicken wings, as well as offering meal combos.

For now, however, these locally made meals are only available in some parts of the country. All locations in the Dallas/Fort Worth area (home to 7-Eleven's corporate headquarters) are selling them, as well as select stores in Los Angeles, New York and Washington, D.C. Though that might not sound like much, it's actually hundreds of locations in all. Turns out there are a lot of 7-Elevens—and they're hoping to start serving a lot of meals.