ENID, Okla. — Jiffy Trip’s new store stands as a microcosm of everything that is driving convenience-store traffic today, and then some. There’s the beer cave—something new to Oklahoma—seating, self-checkout, vast dispensed beverage selection, drive-thru and, of course, an expanded foodservice offer.
And beyond that, there’s its modern design, a financial center and something called an H2O Cave—unexpected elements driven by a company philosophy that aims to win over customers for the long term.
“We wanted big and bright; we wanted to create something modern and open,” says Alex Williams, chief operating officer. He’s part of the third generation of Williams to own and operate Jiffy Trip. “Our belief is when [people] set foot in our store, they’re a customer for life.”
Jiffy Trip worked with design firm Paragon Solutions, Fort Worth, Texas, to create the Enid, Okla., site, the chain’s 28th and the company’s largest at 8,000 square feet.
“They really specialize in the c-store industry, so they’re up to date with all the new trends,” Williams said. “They’re able to adapt to what our goals are and bring a lot of expertise.”
Recognizing the Opportunity
It’s the location that made Jiffy Trip want to build on the site.
“This site has great traffic counts, and there’s a lack of a c-store in this area,” Williams says. “Anytime you have an intersection with a Walmart and Lowe’s and there’s not a c-store within 2 miles, it’s an opportunity.”
But it’s the amenities that make it a destination. With 24 fueling positions and the large store, the Jiffy Trip site is a sprawling location that shouts “Made-to-Order Food” from signage on the store, the fuel price sign and a digital billboard that’s owned by sister company Williams Broadcasting.
Inside the store, consumers have multiple foodservice options, including packaged sandwiches and roller grill items. But the centerpiece is the proprietary JT’s made-to-order concept.
“We developed JT’s as our proprietary quick-service restaurant about a year ago. It specializes in breakfast, burgers and pizza, but you can also get fried catfish, chicken quesadillas and other entrees,” Williams says. “This is the second store where we have a 1,500-square-foot, made-to-order restaurant. It includes a drive-thru, touchscreen ordering kiosks and an open-concept kitchen.”
We wanted big and bright; we wanted to create something modern and open.
The store offers a lot more than foodservice via the drive-thru. Customers can pull up to get beer, cigarettes, packaged beverages, whole pizzas and any number of other products—“everything except lottery,” Williams says. While the c-store is open 24 hours a day, the drive-thru is open from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. The store also invites customers to stay awhile with seating for 25 inside and 20 outside.
Williams says these features serve the three ways customers use a convenience store. “At breakfast, the customer is on the go, so packaged foods are popular,” he says. “At lunchtime, the seating is very popular as customers will sit and talk for a while. And at dinner, it’s the drive-thru, where they can pick up a meal for the family or get a whole pizza.”
That fits Jiffy Trip’s foodservice philosophy: Orders will be ready in less than five minutes, and many cost less than $5. “It’s a specialty burger for $4.99, or you can get a pizza for under $10,” Williams says. As a result, the chain is selling fewer roller grill items than in the past “because we have so many options now of higher-quality offerings,” he says. “And there’s not much of a wait, so people are moving over to the kitchen.”
In the Beverage Business
Elsewhere in the store, it’s clear that Jiffy Trip is in the beverage business. The dispensed beverage area includes 32 fountain options, 15 frozen drinks, nine cappuccino flavors, five coffees and six iced teas on tap.
The cold vault includes 12 nonalcohol doors and three beer doors, as well as a 16-foot open-air beer and wine cooler. Topping off the section is a 400-square-foot beer cave and an 80-square-foot H2O Cave.
The beer cave is new to Oklahoma, which legalized the sale of full-strength, refrigerated beer in c-stores beginning in October 2018. The H2O Cave is a more customized gambit.
“That is basically a way for us to get cold take-home multipacks in customers’ hands,” Williams says. “C-stores sell a lot of cases of water, and one thing we don’t have is the price advantage over Walmart or the grocery store. One thing we do have is ready to use.” Jiffy Trip sells more cases of water if they are refrigerated, Williams says. The H2O Cave also stocks carbonated soft drinks, Powerade, Gatorade and 12-packs of flavored Dasani enhanced water.
Jiffy Trip is ready to break ground on another location in February, and it plans to open a new store every nine to 12 months. While a standard new store is 5,500 square feet, the chain now has models ranging from 4,500 to 8,000 square feet, providing a sliding scale for construction depending on the site and the market.
Williams even hints at expanding beyond the chain’s current market of northern Oklahoma, citing its success with hiring as a company advantage.
“We find with these newer, modern, bright stores, we’re a place people want to come to work,” he says. “Ninety percent of our store managers started as employees in the store. We have a great reputation of promoting from within and providing a career.”
Size: 8,000 square feet
Address: 5314 W. Owen K. Garriott Road, Enid, Okla.
Fueling spots: 24, including ethanol blends and ethanol-free gasoline
Opened: August 2019
- Second location with JT’s proprietary foodservice program
- Beer cave and H2O cave
- Financial center