Need a quick bite to eat? Head to the gas station.

It used to be taboo: getting your meal at a gas station meant you were taking a dive into a greasy world devoid of any nutritional value whatsoever.

Not anymore.

Locally, stores like Rutter’s, Sheetz, 7-Eleven and Royal Farms, to name a few, have turned convenience stores into mini-restaurants, with enough food choices to satisfy any palate.

(I’m a frequent Sheetz-er, myself, though I’ve been known to hit up the other chains on occasion – and I’m really excited for the new mac-and-cheese at Rutter’s that Scott Hartman told us about on his visit to the newsroom)

The Los Angeles Times did a 2010 story
about gas stations that serve things like homemade barbecue, BLTs and samosas.

Why the change?

The Chicago Tribune said that small profit margins in the gasoline-selling business led chains to look at other ways to make money:

“While gasoline brings in the customers, selling fuel is highly competitive, and station owners typically make about 4 cents in profit for every gallon sold, said Keith Reid, editor of the industry publication National Petroleum News. About two-thirds of a site’s sales come from gasoline, but that represents just one-third of gross margin dollars, he said.

For years, station owners augmented their profits by repairing cars. But space is scarce for the expensive computerized machines needed to service modern vehicles, and that business is also highly competitive. To stay in business, Reid said, station owners need to find a sideline — and are turning to food to fill the bill.”

I’m certainly not complaining.

What about you – what are your favorite gas station eats?

About Ashley Wislock

Business reporter focusing on retail for the York Daily Record/Sunday News. In my spare time, I'm a social media, sports, reality TV and celebrity gossip junkie. Contact me at awislock@ydr.com or 717-771-2029!
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3 Responses to Need a quick bite to eat? Head to the gas station.

  1. Christina B says:

    At any convenience store? That’d be breakfast sausages from a roller grill- something about those hot heaven’s that make it tasty! =). . . .Otherwise if you want something to be specific to store? It’d be a shmiscuit from sheets- sausage, american cheese (extra), pepperoni, butter & salt. Now this obviously isn’t great for your health- so it’s a once a year type of “cheat”.

  2. Bruce Thiel says:

    I’m hooked on the sloppy joe sliders from Rutter’s. They’re cheap yet delicious.

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