Wednesday, May 11, 2005

I love my Wawa

Only if you live in Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, Virginia or Pennsylvania do you understand the power and draw of Wawa. This is a convenience store that is light years ahead of Seven Eleven or Village Pantry. I never paid much attention to Wawas until they became a part of my daily life. Now I can't go more than a day or two without visiting one.

Why are they special? Start with the coffee. You roll into a Wawa first thing on a coffeeless morning and there is a handy row of steaming coffee pots carefully watched over by an on-duty human being. The choices are wide—from decaf to dark roast—and the pots are always full. The coffee's always fresh, too. That's because every Wawa I've ever seen is jam-packed with customers at all hours of the day and night so there's rapid turnover. The napkins, cups and lids, creams and sweetners station is efficiently organized—and right next to the donuts.

Next is the deli. You go to the counter, use a touch-screen computer to place your order for sandwiches, soups, hot dishes. It prints out a receipt that you take to the cashier while your order is being prepared. By the time you're done paying, it's ready for you. And the food is not just good, it's great.

I sometimes discover I'm out of dogfood when it's time for the dog's dinner. Wawa stocks it. The brilliance of their concept is to stock only one kind and just a few of anything. So, you see four cans on the shelf, one brand, maybe two flavors. It doesn't matter, you can always count on it being there. And when you only have one kind of anything, you can have a lot of everything.

With more than 500 stores around these five states, there's usually a Wawa close by, and that makes the stores a way of life in this region. I fully understand their slogan, "gotta hava Wawa." Out late last night, I needed some fresh limes to fill a sudden desire for a salty margarita when I got home. I remembered seeing limes at another Wawa a few days ago, and hoped our neighborhood one would have them as well. I pulled into the crowded parking lot and five minutes later was on my way home with some very nice limes.

No, I did not receive compensation from the Wawa company for this article. I just love it when businesses get things completely right.


At 1:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just happened to come across your blog. You are 100% right about Wawa. It's like the Neiman Marcus of convienence stores. Always clean and bright, with great coffee and those delectable Shorti hoagies. Now I'm hungry...

At 8:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We are building 40 more stores over the next year (2006)! Also, wait for the 'toasted' hoagies!!


At 8:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is so refreshing to hear these comments from customers. I am a Customer Service Leader at Wawa and I just loved your blog. I have never worked for a company with higher standards of cleanliness, friendliness, safety, and quality. So working for them can be hard, but reading what you wrote makes it all worth it. Thank you so very much. I do hope you will stay a Wawa regular customer for life.

At 10:53 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I loved your comments about Wawa. I moved to Pa 7 years ago from New York and never heard of Wawa until I moved here. Now I am an Assistant Manager for Wawa and I couldn't agree with you more. Wawa is a great place to get something quick and delicious. Hope you've tried our Ciabattas..they're the best...And thanks for making it "Your Wawa"



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