The rise of gas-station pizza should already be on the radar of most pizzeria owners. PMQ’s Pizza Power Report 2024 included an entire section dedicated to how far convenience store pizza has come in a short period of time. 

One particular gas station seems to do pizza better than all the others. Casey’s General Stores—based in Iowa and laying claim to over 2,400 stores across 16 different states—is a heavyweight when it comes to gas-station pizza. 

It’s become so proficient, in fact, that the Wall Street Journal says it is “beating Domino’s Pizza at its own game.” The story pointed to the fact that Casey’s prepared foods and dispensed beverages rose 8.8% in its quarter that ended on April 30. Domino’s, by comparison, saw same-store sales rise 5.6%, while Pizza Hut saw a massive decline—6%—during the same time period. 

Related: Why Gas Station Pizza is Your Next Big Competitor

A graph depicting Casey's General Stores stock performance versus that of Domino's Pizza and other restaurants.
Source: Fact Sheet, via the Wall Street Journal

As the Wall Street Journal points out, C-stores have long known that prepared foods have much better margins than fuel. The story also noted that it’s not coincidence Casey’s turned to CEO Darren Rebelez—an IHOP veteran—when it was trying to develop a better food program. 

One of the key moves that Rebelez has made lately is insisting Casey’s General Stores keep a better price point than its foodservice competitors. “We try to keep that relative value gap,” he said on a recent earnings call, reported the Journal. Rebelez also pointed out that inflation has dictated many consumers to “trade down,” or opt for c-store food rather than typical fast-food—or, in this case, gas-station pizza over that of a chain or independent restaurant. 

Investors around the country are taking note. Casey’s stock has surged 38 percent in 2024.

“Economic conditions may be merely lukewarm,” the article concludes, “but Casey’s business is piping hot.

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