Kwik Trip Dispenses Cleanliness

Wisconsin chain has cleanest pumps, says CSP-Service Intelligence Mystery Shop

Angel Abcede, Senior Editor/Tobacco, CSP

CSP Mystery Shop

OAKBROOK TERRACE, Ill. & LA CROSSE, Wis. -- Clean pumps for a c-store could be akin to a strong handshake for business people, as c-store chain Kwik Trip can attest to, having nabbed the title of cleanest pumps--and top ranking overall--in this year's CSP-Service Intelligence Mystery Shop study.

For the question, "Were the pumps around you clean and working?" Kwik Trip scored a 98.1%, narrowly edging out Atlanta-based RaceTrac Petroleum, which scored 98%.

Pump cleanliness goes back to the chain's decision to enter foodservice, said John McHugh, manager of corporate communications and leadership development for Kwik Trip. "If you want to be a food destination you have to be a clean destination," he told CSP Daily News. "If a person has to use a dirty gas pump, they already have distinct impression of the site, so even the pumps outside, the sidewalk entering the store, everything has to be clean."

Pump cleanliness is so important to Kwik Trip that they assign two people who do nothing but check the condition of the decals on store pumps, McHugh said. "These are decals that say we accept Visa and Mastercard--all that signage is checked and if need be are replaced or refreshed," he said. "It all reflects back on the quality of the food."

For the fourth time in five years, Kwik Trip took the No. 1 overall spot in this year's study for chains with 150 or more stores. In addition to cleanest exteriors, the chain also took the top spot in two other subcategories: customer service and employee appearance.

The survey--this year expanded to include seven chains of less than 150 stores (with those results to come this fall)--reviewed eight large regional and national chains, analyzing exterior and interior cleanliness, customer service, merchandising and employee appearance.

This year, the Fort Mill, S.C.-based Service Intelligence sent shoppers to the following chains: Casey's General Stores, Ankeny, Iowa; Circle K Great Lakes, Akron, Ohio; E-Z Mart Stores, Texarkana, Texas; Kwik Trip; MAPCO, Brentwood, Tenn.; QuikTrip, Tulsa, Okla.; RaceTrac Petroleum; and Sheetz Inc., Altoona, Pa.

Shoppers completed 80 to 110 visits per chain during eight weeks this past spring.

[Editor's Note: CSP Daily News will reveal more insights in the coming days, with extensive coverage of the study in the August issue of CSP magazine. And don't forget the second part of the survey, which reviews seven chains with less than 150 stores. CSP Daily News will count down the top chains and CSP magazine will delve into the results in September.]

Angel Abcede, CSP/Winsight By Angel Abcede, Senior Editor/Tobacco, CSP
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