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DALLAS -- Stepping up its foray into fast-food's turf, 7-Eleven Inc. is expanding its hot foods program to add items such as pepperoni pizza and chicken wings to 115 Dallas-area convenience stores, according to a report by The Dallas Morning News.
The program is part of a nationwide rollout that is bringing ovens made by Carrollton's TurboChef Technologies to 1,400 7-Eleven stores this year, the report said.
7-Eleven has offered grilled hot dogs since the early 1980s, and spokeswoman Margaret Chabris said this marks the retailer's 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, the newspaper reported.
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. "Foodservice is our future," said 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," Chabris 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, according to the newspaper report.
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