On Wednesday, 7-Eleven unveiled its first Laredo Taco Company drive-thru restaurant located in Dallas.
The store, with indoor seating as well, shares space with the newest 7-Eleven Evolution Store – the third such store in Dallas and the sixth in the country. 7-Eleven is driving home its commitment to innovation with these Evolution Stores, and no two are exactly alike.
"This is delicious news for customers of both 7-Eleven and Laredo Taco Company," says Chris Tanco , 7–Eleven executive vice president and chief operating officer. "7-Eleven is known as a beverage destination, and Laredo Taco Company makes some of the best quick-serve Mexican food anywhere. Throw in the convenience of grabbing a taco paired with a Slurpee drink through a drive-thru, and it's a match made in heaven."
Laredo Taco Company is known for its authentic tacos served on handmade flour tortillas that are made from scratch in its restaurants every day and fresh salsa bar with a wide selection of salsas and pico de gallo. Tacos and meals include specialties not always seen in quick-serve Mexican restaurants such as authentic beef barbacoa, chorizo, carne asada, carnitas, and breakfast tacos made with fresh-cracked eggs.
Drive-thru hours are 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday to Thursday, and 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. The offerings include an all-day menu and meals for children, or "Los Niños," that include a side and a small drink. Breakfast is served 5 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. and features a wide variety of breakfast tacos and breakfast bowls.
At the new Laredo Taco Company drive-thru, customers can now order a Slurpee drink with their meal in a single stop, which is also a first for the iconic 7-Eleven beverage. Guests may also choose a cup of fresh-brewed coffee. Hot or iced coffee and espresso drinks such as lattes and cappuccinos are also available. Other beverage choices include aguas frescas, fountain drinks, iced tea, as well as Topo Chico sparkling mineral water and other bottled and canned drinks such as water, juice, energy and sports drinks. All told, drive-thru customers can choose from over 30 beverages and even more food options and combinations.
Beer, wine and several flavors of wine-based frozen margaritas are on tap in the Laredo Taco Company Restaurant for on-premise consumption. Margarita flavors include classic, strawberry, swirl, watermelon, sangria, melon, and prickly pear.
As a beverage destination, 7-Eleven is always looking for new thirst-quenchers, and the Evolution Stores are where some of new drink ideas make their debuts. Refreshing smoothies, shakes, sodas, flavored still and sparkling waters, and cold brew coffee can be customized as well. Unique sodas are a new Evolution Store feature, with flavors such as ginger beer, black cherry, pineapple coconut, diet key lime, and diet cherry vanilla. Sparkling and still water flavors include lemon ginger, strawberry rose, coconut lime, cucumber mint and mango.
Each 7-Eleven Evolution Store is an experiential testing ground, where customers can try and buy the retailer's latest innovations in a pioneering store format. Already this year, the retailer plans to open new concept stores in North Texas and Manassas, Virginia, with more planned later in the year. 7-Eleven opened four Evolution Stores last year in New York City, Washington, D.C., San Diego, and Dallas. All include a restaurant concept, and the retailer continues to tweak the design and product mix based on customer feedback and shopping habits. The most popular features have become staples that knowing customers seek out.
In addition to Laredo Taco Company, the 7-Eleven Evolution Store in Dallas offers an assortment of exclusive products, services, and features customized to the neighborhoods and customers they serve. The most popular features include self-serve specialty coffee and espresso drinks, on-tap novelty beverages, cookies and croissants baked fresh in-store, a wide selection of national brand skincare and cosmetics items, and The Wine Cellar and Beer Cave, dedicated to an enhanced and expansive selection of wine, beer, and specialty alcoholic beverages. Larger-than-life murals painted by local muralist Tex Moton and an expanded assortment of premium and better-for-you items are stocked keep customers coming back.
The new store is one of a growing number to offer mobile checkout and delivery. With the 7Rewards loyalty program, in-store customers can skip the checkout counter and pay for their purchases on their phone. The convenient feature is found in the 7-Eleven app. The 7NOW delivery app also lets customers order favorite 7-Eleven foods, beverages, groceries, and household products to be delivered straight to their door.
"While opening the first Laredo Taco Company drive-thru restaurant with a 7-Eleven store would be exciting any time, we think customers looking for socially distanced ways to grab breakfast, lunch and dinner will really appreciate it now," Tanco says. "Soon I hope, ordering tacos and beverages for in-person get-togethers with family and friends will be the norm once again."
7-Eleven acquired the Laredo Taco Company restaurants along with Stripes convenience stores in South Texas as part of a 1,000-store acquisition from Sunoco in 2018.