BOSTON -- On National Coffee Day, convenience stores across the country enticed caffeine fiends with free or discounted cafe drinks. Many chains saw a lift in foot traffic from the promotion; however, Wawa Inc. saw the biggest jump in visits, according to GasBuddy.
As part of the festivities, Wawa Rewards members received a coupon for a free coffee. Customers who do not participate in the loyalty program could get a cup of joe for $1 through Oct. 13 at units in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C. On Sept. 29, Wawa, Pa.-based Wawa saw an 8.4% uptick in average visits compared to the week before.
“This shows the importance of loyalty. Anyone can offer a free cup of coffee, but Wawa has created a huge base of loyal customers who can be mobilized with fun and relevant offers,” said Frank Beard, analyst for convenience-store trends for GasBuddy. “Of course, it doesn’t hurt to have quality foodservice. In GasBuddy’s recent study, Wawa captured the top spot for best gas station coffee in six states.”
Following Wawa, Sheetz Inc. and 7-Eleven Inc. increased visits by 3% and 2.9%, respectively. Altoona, Pa.-based Sheetz promoted its cold brew and app in one fell swoop, offering the beverage for free to anyone who ordered through the Sheetz app. Irving, Texas-based 7-Eleven gave away a free coffee to anyone who bought a breakfast sandwich costing $2 or more.
Knoxville, Tenn.-based Pilot Flying J was able to inflate visits by 2.7% with a free coffee in any size for myPilot app users. Not far behind, Love’s Travel Stops & Country Stores Inc., Oklahoma City, saw a 2.6% boost in traffic by offering all 24-ounce hot beverages for $1.
On National Coffee Day, G&M Oil Co. Inc., Huntington Beach, Calif., sold its small coffee for 25 cents, which helped increase visits by 1.9%.
Boston-based GasBuddy is a smartphone app connecting drivers with gas stations and c-stores.
Photograph courtesy of GasBuddy