Jan 5, 2009

Mon:I like QuikTrip

There’s some stores or restaurants that just reach the elusive Target greatness. They come off classy, they remain inexpensive enough for a college student, and they're likeable enough that you’ll go out of your way to visit that store instead of the other guy. I would have to say that somehow QuikTrip has managed to capture that greatness. Well to me anyway.

It’s hard to believe but I realize there’s a few folks out there who have no idea what I’m talking about, they’re wondering “what is this—Quiktrip?” I’m just sorry you’re going have to have to settle for this shoddy explanation and won’t be able to see for yourself. Quiktrip is a convenience store/gas station but that really doesn’t do it justice. It’s the next evolution in gas stations for a variety of reasons.

First of all the food at Quiktrip is not just OK, it’s usually amazing. Have you ever had a donut from this place? The maple bars are something like 14 inches long. 14 inches! They have fresh sandwiches that make fast food look cheap and extremely unhealthy by comparison. But in the event you’re into that sort of thing, or maybe it’s been a long night and you're craving something jack-in-the-Box-esque they also have $1 Taquito’s (admittedly they take some getting used to so don’t go crazy with them your first time out) or stuffed breadsticks, and of course the convenience store staple, the hot dog. None of it is old either, You’ll never walk in there and see that mystery slim jim looking sausage rolling around on the hot dog roller like you would usually see at a normal place.

You can’t talk about the food without also talking about the drinks. When they first opened in my area, they gave everyone who came in a free mug and free refills on that mug for a month (who says you can't buy love?). Some places that would be kind of cool, but really how many cups of bad coffee or watered down coke can you enjoy. At QT though, there’s like 8 different types of good coffee not including the hot Chai tea, Hot Chocolate, or Cappuccino. Then there’s the cold stuff, your usual array of soda’s and lemonade, but also something called the black cherry smoothie. I’m not totally sure how it qualifies for smoothie status because I’m pretty sure there’s no fruit in it, in fact it tastes pretty much like a cherry kool-aid slush, which is basically what every kid grows up wishing those self righteous Icee’s were; Kool-aid slushes. It's nice to see the dream finally realized.

The employees are amazing too. I’m not really sure where they find these people, but they rival the folks who work at Starbucks for friendliness and employees of In and Out for competency. They're like a super-hybrid. I’ve sat there and watched a guy named Zach work 2 registers simultaneously to check out a line of 9 people while making sure to say hello and have a quick chat with all of them. true story. If I ever need to hire someone for anything I’m just going to go down to QT and headhunt there.

The overall vibe of the place is just really legit, and safe. In fact most QT’s even have a little sign letting you know that you have now entered a safe place. I always see that and it reminds me of one of those cities that the Israelites could run to if they accidentally killed someone and needed protection from the family of the victim. If I ever wrong someone that badly there’s a good chance you’ll find me at QT relaxing in my “safe place”.

So most of that previous praise for QT was well warranted but I think what I really like about the place is how it took a traditionally shady and frequently questionable thing like the convenience store and made it something that people could be legitimately proud of. They could be proud to work there, or shop there, or even just live near there. They just completely redeemed the idea of a gas station. I’m sure one day students will study how QT stepped up and showed everyone what kind of potential these places had and as a result found a permanent place in communities. As a business student, being able to watch that happen in the real world has been pretty cool and sometimes inspires me to see potential in other traditionally ugly or dirty jobs.


  1. Another thing about the drinks: they use pure filtered water, making the drinks taste that much better.
    And on top of all that, where other "convenience" stores make you pay 75 cents, QT doesn't charge for the water/air pumps (which they shouldn't because, seriously, how do you charge for air?)

  2. I can't believe I forgot to mention the free air and water! but I had no idea about the pure water in the soda fountains. That's pretty amazing.