Foodservice

Wawa Bringing Back Self-Serve Beverage Options

Will be available in nearly 60 stores, retailer says
coffee
Photograph: Shutterstock

WAWA, Pa. — Wawa has reopened self-serve coffee bars and fountain machines at about 60 locations, raising the question of whether other convenience-store chains will do the same as states slowly begin to re-open during the coronavirus pandemic.

Wawa’s self-serve coffee and fountain options are now accessible at some stores in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland and Virginia, a representative from the company told CSP Daily News. Wawa has added new safety measures during this re-opening phase, including tissue paper to cover pour handles and wrapped stirrers, it said. Customers still have the option to have Wawa staff members pour and prepare their beverages at these locations.

Wawa said it plans to expand self-service into other areas in the coming weeks while practicing all guidelines from state and local health departments.

“So far, customer feedback on the return of self-service beverages with our enhanced safety measures has been very positive,” Wawa said in a statement provided to CSP. “Moving forward, Wawa will continue to gain feedback from associates and customers and incorporate findings into the reintroduction of self-service beverages to additional stores.”

Wawa closed its self-serve food and beverage options in March along with other c-store chains as a means to halt the spread of COVID-19. Since then, Wawa’s employees have been serving customers coffee and fountain beverages.

This isn’t the first sign of c-stores receiving the green light to reopen self-serve options. In early May, Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb said that gas stations and c-stores could once again allow self-serve, despite restaurants still being unable to do so, according to a report by the Indianapolis Tribune-Star.

Wawa, Pa.-based Wawa operates in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia and Florida. It is No. 10 on the Top 40 update to CSP’s 2019 Top 202 ranking of U.S. c-store chains by number of retail outlets. CSP will release the complete 2020 list in June.

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