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Old 11-20-2018, 09:21 PM
 
Location: North by Northwest
7,410 posts, read 9,478,047 times
Reputation: 4594

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Quote:
Originally Posted by BPP1999 View Post
I like Wawa, just like everyone else. However, I’ve been told by multiple auto mechanics that their gas is substandard. Their soft pretzels are, for the most part, awful. Their sandwiches are so-so; I find their chicken salad and egg salad to be very good, but their Italian hoagies not as good as they should be. And, the bread is not top tier. That being said, they are good when you’re in a hurry.

I guess the point of this post is to see if others agree, and to figure out why the company is worshipped by so many in this region. Shouldn’t they up their game, or don’t they have to, given the aforementioned praise and worship they already receive?
And the bolded is precisely the point. Yes, some people take their Wawa love a bit far, but it’s excellent within its category: the quick-serve convenience store. The rest of the OP is a strawman argument.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wells5 View Post
Sheetz is the gold standard in convenience stores. WaWa can't compare. Too bad Philly doesn't have any. Nearest are in Reading or Ephrata


Question: Anyone noticing the conversion of Sunoco convenience stores to 7-11s?
Sheetz wins in breakfast sandwiches, which are higher-quality and customizable. Otherwise, while Sheetz has a wider variety, Wawa has better ingredients and products. Most of the Sheetz menu isn’t terrible, but it’s a notch below Wawa. Granted, that still places it well above most other convenience store chains.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BPP1999 View Post
Exactly.

1 - Wawa keeps winning "best hoagie" awards. Seriously??

2 - "Wawa's (pretzels) are an especially poor representation of them." I couldn't have said it better myself.
I wouldn’t give them “best hoagie” awards, but the quality of the meat, cheese, and bread is just fine. It’s the upper-mid tier stuff you can get behind your supermarket deli counter. The only problem with taking the Wawa deli counter up a level is that prices will start getting too high for convenience store takeout food. I love a good hot gabagool and sharp provolone on a Sarcone’s roll, but I don’t expect that from Wawa.

The pretzels are pretty bad. They’re probably the one Wawa baked good I’d give below a B grade. That said, on occasion I crave them for some reason. It’s probably the extra sugar they add to the dough.
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Old 11-20-2018, 09:45 PM
 
3,171 posts, read 2,676,048 times
Reputation: 3040
Quote:
Originally Posted by ElijahAstin View Post


Sheetz wins in breakfast sandwiches, which are higher-quality and customizable. Otherwise, while Sheetz has a wider variety, Wawa has better ingredients and products. Most of the Sheetz menu isn’t terrible, but it’s a notch below Wawa. Granted, that still places it well above most other convenience store chains.


I wouldn’t give them “best hoagie” awards, but the quality of the meat, cheese, and bread is just fine. It’s the upper-mid tier stuff you can get behind your supermarket deli counter. The only problem with taking the Wawa deli counter up a level is that prices will start getting too high for convenience store takeout food. I love a good hot gabagool and sharp provolone on a Sarcone’s roll, but I don’t expect that from Wawa.

Architecture and interior design of Sheetz stores are way ahead of Wawa.


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Old 11-20-2018, 09:48 PM
 
Location: North by Northwest
7,410 posts, read 9,478,047 times
Reputation: 4594
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wells5 View Post
Architecture and interior design of Sheetz stores are way ahead of Wawa.

If only that made the food taste better.
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Old 11-20-2018, 10:33 PM
 
Location: The place where the road & the sky collide
20,666 posts, read 25,887,996 times
Reputation: 8235
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wells5 View Post
Architecture and interior design of Sheetz stores are way ahead of Wawa.

Not my taste. If you like it, good for you.
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Old 11-20-2018, 10:53 PM
 
Location: Germantown, Philadelphia
3,740 posts, read 1,817,961 times
Reputation: 2275
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pennsport View Post
Royal Farms just opened a few locations around here and I couldn't be more disappointed. Very unimpressed and rank them a few rungs below WaWa. Hopefully this is just a reflection on the individual stores I've visited and not the franchise. I've actually never been to a Sheetz, so can't speak to that operation.
Royal Farms' reputation for food rests on the quality of its fried chicken, which many rave about. Sheesh, the publication I work for named Royal Farms "Best Gas Station Fried Chicken" in our "Best of Philly" issue this past summer.

I've yet to try it. But I've been in some indie gas-station C-stores that have some surprising (and even surprisingly good) food options. A gas station in Prince George's County, MD, that had a bangin' taqueria in it stands out in this regard.

Quote:
Honestly, I think the OP is incorrectly analyzing the purpose of WaWa. In no way is it meant to actually be a competitive restaurant, but rather a one-stop option with above average products. There are few other retail establishments were one can get fuel, buy a range of hearty and/or healthy made to order food products and pick up a variety of extras all under 10 minutes. As someone with a busy schedule, I simply don't have time or desire to drive to a local deli, find parking, go through a slower and less automated ordering process, get my food, drive to another location for gas, and possibly a third for any extras I might need.
It's this plus the employees' attitude, I think, that earns Wawa such devoted fans. I've seen stories on the Wawa corporate website about employees who make customers feel like family and go above and beyond what you might expect from convenience-store employees. "Clerks" they ain't. I think I know another reason why:

Quote:
Originally Posted by cpomp View Post
I have also heard that Wawa treats their corporate employees well from people I know who work on the campus. They still hold family-type values even though they are a massive company.
To a very large extent, this is probably because

a) the founding Wood family still controls it
b) the employees own a good chunk of it

Wawa has an employee stock ownership plan, and I think the ESOP owns about 60 percent of Wawa's stock (the Woods own the rest). This has several benefits for the company. One, and one of the biggest, is that this insulates it from the "higher returns every quarter NOW!" mentality many investors have these days. Another, equally important, is that the ownership stake aligns the interests of management and employees. A third is that it probably reduces turnover: there are employees there whose retirements consist of their investments in Wawa stock, and you might note that Wawa stores outside the in-city locations often have older employees on average than their competitors. Wawa actively advertises working there as a good option for retired seniors looking to stay active and engaged with the world of work.

Quote:
PS - My DC friends love that Wawa arrive in Dupont. Huge new market for Wawa.
I remember reading about the opening of the Connecticut Avenue Wawa in The Washington Post. The Washingtonians behaved just like Philadelphians do when a new Wawa opens, which is to say, they mobbed it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Duderino View Post
Yeah, I think the die-hard Wawa fandom/worship is very much the result of its business model, offerings, and quality in comparison ONLY to other convenience store/gas station establishments (in which case, yes, places like 7-11, Cumberland Farms, and any essentially any other "quick stop" type market you'll find out there attached to a gas station [with the exception of Sheetz] is very clearly and vastly inferior to Wawa).

Otherwise, no, no one should turn Wawa into what it's not (i.e., a "fine dining" establishment with perfectly crafted food).
If you think anyone is arguing that, may I suggest you reread the comments?

The main dispute is whether Wawa actually serves decent hoagies. There's plenty of conflicting data on this score now.

I think one reason people still think Wawa makes good hoagies is because they really did once upon a time - back when the stores had actual deli cases and sliced the meats and cheeses to order in the store. That stuff now arrives in the stores pre-sliced and portion-controlled: the staff just grab a portion from one of the trays in front of them and slap the fillings on.

But many Philadelphians, a lot of them fans all the same, are wise to the scam. When our food editor wrote "What Happened to the Wawa Hoagie?" in April of last year, we expected a barrage of criticism in the comments section (we still had one then).

Instead, every reader who left a comment agreed with Alex Tewfik.

BTW, that cold mess of a sandwich in the picture? Alex bought it back from the new Wawa that had opened a block from our offices a month or so before. He couldn't even bring himself to eat it, so he brought it into my office and bequathed it to me.

I took two bites and then threw it away. And I don't throw away food.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cpomp View Post
That's why I go to Starbucks for my morning coffee
If there's a La Colombe near you, why are you torturing yourself like that? Or a Bluestone Lane? Or a Parliament?

But I patronize Starbucks often enough myself, and for many of the same reasons people go to Wawa: The staff always treat you well - well, almost always, as we've since learned - and you know what you will be getting.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PHL10 View Post
1) You may not be aware but many people make the claim that Wawa makes the "best" hoagies.
Read on below. Seems that most of the respondents to an annual nationwide survey of quick-service restaurants believe this too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by southbound_295 View Post
I can't speak for Sheetz, but my sister has stopped in them occasionally & she says that the coffee is terrible. Sheetz is in the vicinity of Raleigh. They aren't that far from Richmond and Petersburg. You might want to start a thread on that board & get their opinion. Keep in mind, Wegmans is going in that area with 4 stores. While you can probably find another area with proximity of Sheetz & WaWa, that's probably your best bet.
I have a dear friend who also doesn't get Philadelphians' fanatical devotion to Wawa and actually prefers Sheetz. One thing Sheetz stores have that Wawas don't is actual grills. They serve not only made-to-order cold sandwiches but cooked-to-order burgers (well, you can't specify the degree of doneness, but they aren't being kept in a warming tray as they are at most of the fast-food burger joints, Wendy's a notable exception).

Quote:
Originally Posted by southbound_295 View Post
Do a search on the main NJ board. I think a handful of WaWas were opened in the southern part of North Jersey. Apparently, they feel that they're better off going south. It's just nonsensical that they skipped from VA to FL. I could see them skipping SC & GA.
(emphasis added)

I think it's more than a handful. The Record of North Jersey (the former Bergen Record; that same very dear friend of mine who likes Sheetz better covers transportation for that paper) referred to Wawa as "our beloved New Jersey treasure" in this story:

Wawa makes the country's best sandwiches, survey shows | North Jersey Record

I am actually willing to let this slide, as Wawa's predecessor company (also owned by the Woods) began life as a iron forge in South Jersey in 1801 before the family crossed the Delaware and got into the dairy business. The C-stores were the company's successful attempt to counter the decline in their milk delivery business.

But note that headline. This company called MarketForce conducts an annual survey of some 11,000 respondents nationwide who rate quick-service restaurant chains in several categories (burgers, sandwiches, Mexican, pizza, chicken). This year, for the first time, a C-store chain topped the list for sandwiches: Wawa.

Study: America Picks Its Favorite Quick-Service Chains | QSR
Wawa makes history and is voted America's favorite sandwich shop | Business Insider

The folks at Business Insider decided to put the sandwiches to the taste test and were suitably impressed, especially on the value-for-money scale, but they even said one of the sandwiches they tried was out-and-out good. The sandwich in question was a panini, however:

We tried the sandwiches at Wawa, which just made history by being named America's favorite sandwich shop — here's the verdict | Business Insider

And this was after BI had done an overall head-to-head comparison of Wawa vs. Sheetz this past summer and concluded that indeed, they do it just a little bit better at Wawa:

We visited convenience-store rivals Wawa and Sheetz to see which does it better — and the winner is clear | Business Insider

I think one other reason people may overrate Wawa hoagies is because they're great values. If they happen to make a decent one for you when you go in, you will have paid less for it than for a comparable and comparably sized hoagie than you would have at a higher-quality shop.

And if those comments were any guide, Philadelphians may be able to hold two opinions somewhat in conflict and not have their brains explode. That North Jersey Record story included some Tweets from people on the news, and the best came from Colin Weir (@radiocolin on Twitter), who wrote:

"Wawa when I’m home: yeah I guess it’s a fine sandwich if there’s nothing else for lunch but it’s not as good as it used to be

"Wawa when I’m away from home: It’s the best place ever and I will fight you to the death over this"
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Old 11-20-2018, 11:32 PM
 
Location: The place where the road & the sky collide
20,666 posts, read 25,887,996 times
Reputation: 8235
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarketStEl View Post
Royal Farms' reputation for food rests on the quality of its fried chicken, which many rave about. Sheesh, the publication I work for named Royal Farms "Best Gas Station Fried Chicken" in our "Best of Philly" issue this past summer.

I've yet to try it. But I've been in some indie gas-station C-stores that have some surprising (and even surprisingly good) food options. A gas station in Prince George's County, MD, that had a bangin' taqueria in it stands out in this regard.



It's this plus the employees' attitude, I think, that earns Wawa such devoted fans. I've seen stories on the Wawa corporate website about employees who make customers feel like family and go above and beyond what you might expect from convenience-store employees. "Clerks" they ain't. I think I know another reason why:



To a very large extent, this is probably because

a) the founding Wood family still controls it
b) the employees own a good chunk of it

Wawa has an employee stock ownership plan, and I think the ESOP owns about 60 percent of Wawa's stock (the Woods own the rest). This has several benefits for the company. One, and one of the biggest, is that this insulates it from the "higher returns every quarter NOW!" mentality many investors have these days. Another, equally important, is that the ownership stake aligns the interests of management and employees. A third is that it probably reduces turnover: there are employees there whose retirements consist of their investments in Wawa stock, and you might note that Wawa stores outside the in-city locations often have older employees on average than their competitors. Wawa actively advertises working there as a good option for retired seniors looking to stay active and engaged with the world of work.



I remember reading about the opening of the Connecticut Avenue Wawa in The Washington Post. The Washingtonians behaved just like Philadelphians do when a new Wawa opens, which is to say, they mobbed it.



If you think anyone is arguing that, may I suggest you reread the comments?

The main dispute is whether Wawa actually serves decent hoagies. There's plenty of conflicting data on this score now.

I think one reason people still think Wawa makes good hoagies is because they really did once upon a time - back when the stores had actual deli cases and sliced the meats and cheeses to order in the store. That stuff now arrives in the stores pre-sliced and portion-controlled: the staff just grab a portion from one of the trays in front of them and slap the fillings on.

But many Philadelphians, a lot of them fans all the same, are wise to the scam. When our food editor wrote "What Happened to the Wawa Hoagie?" in April of last year, we expected a barrage of criticism in the comments section (we still had one then).

Instead, every reader who left a comment agreed with Alex Tewfik.

BTW, that cold mess of a sandwich in the picture? Alex bought it back from the new Wawa that had opened a block from our offices a month or so before. He couldn't even bring himself to eat it, so he brought it into my office and bequathed it to me.

I took two bites and then threw it away. And I don't throw away food.



If there's a La Colombe near you, why are you torturing yourself like that? Or a Bluestone Lane? Or a Parliament?

But I patronize Starbucks often enough myself, and for many of the same reasons people go to Wawa: The staff always treat you well - well, almost always, as we've since learned - and you know what you will be getting.



Read on below. Seems that most of the respondents to an annual nationwide survey of quick-service restaurants believe this too.



I have a dear friend who also doesn't get Philadelphians' fanatical devotion to Wawa and actually prefers Sheetz. One thing Sheetz stores have that Wawas don't is actual grills. They serve not only made-to-order cold sandwiches but cooked-to-order burgers (well, you can't specify the degree of doneness, but they aren't being kept in a warming tray as they are at most of the fast-food burger joints, Wendy's a notable exception).



(emphasis added)

I think it's more than a handful. The Record of North Jersey (the former Bergen Record; that same very dear friend of mine who likes Sheetz better covers transportation for that paper) referred to Wawa as "our beloved New Jersey treasure" in this story:

Wawa makes the country's best sandwiches, survey shows | North Jersey Record

I am actually willing to let this slide, as Wawa's predecessor company (also owned by the Woods) began life as a iron forge in South Jersey in 1801 before the family crossed the Delaware and got into the dairy business. The C-stores were the company's successful attempt to counter the decline in their milk delivery business.

But note that headline. This company called MarketForce conducts an annual survey of some 11,000 respondents nationwide who rate quick-service restaurant chains in several categories (burgers, sandwiches, Mexican, pizza, chicken). This year, for the first time, a C-store chain topped the list for sandwiches: Wawa.

Study: America Picks Its Favorite Quick-Service Chains | QSR
Wawa makes history and is voted America's favorite sandwich shop | Business Insider

The folks at Business Insider decided to put the sandwiches to the taste test and were suitably impressed, especially on the value-for-money scale, but they even said one of the sandwiches they tried was out-and-out good. The sandwich in question was a panini, however:

We tried the sandwiches at Wawa, which just made history by being named America's favorite sandwich shop — here's the verdict | Business Insider

And this was after BI had done an overall head-to-head comparison of Wawa vs. Sheetz this past summer and concluded that indeed, they do it just a little bit better at Wawa:

We visited convenience-store rivals Wawa and Sheetz to see which does it better — and the winner is clear | Business Insider

I think one other reason people may overrate Wawa hoagies is because they're great values. If they happen to make a decent one for you when you go in, you will have paid less for it than for a comparable and comparably sized hoagie than you would have at a higher-quality shop.

And if those comments were any guide, Philadelphians may be able to hold two opinions somewhat in conflict and not have their brains explode. That North Jersey Record story included some Tweets from people on the news, and the best came from Colin Weir (@radiocolin on Twitter), who wrote:

"Wawa when I’m home: yeah I guess it’s a fine sandwich if there’s nothing else for lunch but it’s not as good as it used to be

"Wawa when I’m away from home: It’s the best place ever and I will fight you to the death over this"
You have some fabulous lines in here.

Kangaroo Express has absolutely nothing of note, but what they've got probably won't kill you.

Quick Trip is clean, but if you don't want a hot dog, forget it.

By the way, do you know if Woodstown is named after this Wood family?

Last edited by southbound_295; 11-20-2018 at 11:40 PM..
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Old Yesterday, 02:10 AM
 
Location: Florida Gulf Coast
4,111 posts, read 5,545,942 times
Reputation: 6444
Quote:
Originally Posted by BPP1999 View Post
I am suburban Philadelphia born and raised, I started this thread, but I agree with your premise. Yes, if Wawa were a New York thing, no one would question it because, well, everything in NY is perfect/superior/urbane/sophisticated/high-caliber/etc.

However, I stand by my original post, which was not meant as a cheap shot at this region, but more as a shot against Wawa: Stop selling low-quality gas, make better hoagies, and improve your soft pretzels.
I have yet to hear one person on here substantiate your claims about sub-par gas. So we're all supposed to believe you because a couple mechanics told you this? I've been getting Wawa gas for years in my 6-cylinder vehicles and have never had a problem.

Now, if you don't appreciate Wawa, move to a place with none. So I was THRILLED when they came to my town in Florida. They're opening all over the place! But I must say, they're not the same. The Wawas in Philly are a well-oiled machine...they're clean and everything's there when you need it. I've never had to complain up in PA about the lack of doughnut bags or tissues, in the prime-time morning rush. Or going in about 8 AM on a Saturday and having to wait for a breakfast sandwich because there were none in the heated case. I just read the article in Philly Mag about Wawa's CEO, and he said the most difficult thing about opening Wawas outside the region is "transferring the culture" or something to that effect. And that's what I see here in FL.

HOWEVER, when I was starving one Friday night after a dance and nothing was open except Wawa, I was sure glad they're here, culture or no culture.
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Old Yesterday, 06:25 AM
 
Location: Pocopson
77 posts, read 20,993 times
Reputation: 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by Avalon08 View Post
I have yet to hear one person on here substantiate your claims about sub-par gas. So we're all supposed to believe you because a couple mechanics told you this? I've been getting Wawa gas for years in my 6-cylinder vehicles and have never had a problem.
Wawa sells unbranded fuel, and unbranded fuel is considered to be inferior to branded fuel:
The Differences Between Branded Vs. Unbranded Fuel
This Is the Real Difference Between Unbranded and Branded Gasoline

But this is precisely why Wawa is able to sell their gas for slightly cheaper than the branded stations.
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Old Yesterday, 07:29 AM
 
Location: USA
13,899 posts, read 7,491,480 times
Reputation: 10023
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wells5 View Post
Sheetz is the gold standard in convenience stores. WaWa can't compare. Too bad Philly doesn't have any. Nearest are in Reading or Ephrata
What makes Sheetz better than Wawa? I've been in many Sheetz in my travel, and find them very similar to Wawa, but I prefer Wawa just a tad. To me Sheetz is just a western PA knock off of Wawa.
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Old Yesterday, 08:32 AM
 
Location: Pocopson
77 posts, read 20,993 times
Reputation: 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pilot1 View Post
What makes Sheetz better than Wawa? I've been in many Sheetz in my travel, and find them very similar to Wawa, but I prefer Wawa just a tad. To me Sheetz is just a western PA knock off of Wawa.
Wawa has decent hoagies, but even then, they dropped off ever since they ditched the Amoroso rolls. They've been creeping up in price too. Once you drift away from the hoagies, their made-to-order food is pretty weak. The Sizzli breakfast sandwiches are subpar when you're sober, and an 8 out of 10 if you're hungover. As discussed, the pretzels are an embarrassment to Philly pretzel culture. Speaking of an embarrassment to Philly, can we talk about how pathetic their cheesesteaks are?

Sheetz has respectable hoagies that are only a notch below Wawa's, but it shreds Wawa on non-hoagie items. Look at all this variety, and I've never had something that was bad:
Sheetz Prices in Harrisburg, PA 17111
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