PHOTO GALLERY: Inside 7-Eleven's New Lab Store
The Dallas lab store is also the first 7-Eleven location to include a Laredo Taco Company taqueria, and the first Laredo Taco Company location in Dallas. 7-Eleven acquired the taqueria brand along with its purchase of 1,000 Stripes convenience stores from Sunoco in 2018.
Laredo Taco Company is known in South Texas for its handmade tortillas that are made from scratch in-store daily, as well as its salsa bar with on-site, daily prepared salsas, guacamole and pico de gallo.
The menu features tacos, quesadillas and plate meals that include specialties not typically seen in quick-serve Tex-Mex restaurants, such as carne guisada, barbacoa, picadillo bistec, carnitas and breakfast tacos made with hand-cracked eggs.
Other innovations featured at the lab store include:
- Made-to-order coffee drinks, cold-pressed juices, smoothies and agua frescas that can be customized in a full-service beverage format. Additionally, there are novelty beverages on tap, including nitro cold brew, kombucha and organic teas.
- The Cellar, an alcove dedicated to an expanded selection of wines and craft beers, plus a nearby growler station featuring a rotating selection of local craft beer, cider and ales on tap. At the growler station, customers can enjoy a draft beverage with their meal on-site or fill a growler to take home.
- A cold treats bar with frozen yogurt, ice cream and multiple toppings.
- Cookies, croissants and more items baked in-store daily.
- Digital initiatives designed to enhance the shopping experience, such as scan-and-pay technology that allows customers to skip the checkout line and pay for non-age-restricted purchases on their smartphones.
- Indoor and patio restaurant-style seating in the Laredo Taco Company area of the store, as well as bar seating across the front windows in the retail space.
Many new items in the store's "innovation station" are limited-time offerings, according to 7-Eleven.
"A lot has changed in retail and continues to change rapidly, especially the shopping experience," Tanco said. "This lab store is customer-focused and will explore new ideas that weren't even on the retail radar a few months ago."
Based in Irving, 7‑Eleven operates, franchises and/or licenses more than 67,000 stores in 17 countries, including 11,800 in North America.