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?