BOSTON -- Mobile app GasBuddy has issued its second-quarter 2018 report card revealing which gas-station convenience brands offer patrons the “perfect pit stop.” The quarterly report card ranks stores on customer service, cleanliness, outdoor lighting, coffee and restroom quality. It also offers an “overall” score.
“The second quarter of 2018 includes the start of the busy summer driving season, and we saw an increase in activity when it comes to rating and reviewing,” said Frank Beard, convenience store and retail trends analyst with Boston-based GasBuddy. “There was major movement across all categories. Some brands that did well last quarter, like Wawa, fell off the report completely, owing to the impact of seasonal changes. Actively monitoring consumer ratings and reviews is a key strategy to ensure consistent, quality service.”
The ratings and reviews increased 8% between this year’s first and second quarters. Outdoor lighting received the most ratings out of any category, followed by customer service and cleanliness.
GasBuddy's smartphone app allows users to share reviews about c-stores and gas stations. It provides real-time fuel prices for more than 140,000 gas stations in the United States, Canada and Australia. Earlier this year, GasBuddy named QuikTrip’s Oro Valley, Ariz., location the top pit stop in the United States.
Here are GasBuddy’s second-quarter highlights by number of retail locations …
Brands with more than 1,000 locations
Casey’s General Stores was named the top store overall in the 1,000-plus locations sector. The Ankeny, Iowa-based chain also took first place in customer service, cleanliness and outdoor lighting.
San Ramon, Calif.-based Chevron also showed up this quarter, winning the restrooms category and placing either second or third in all others. Irving, Texas-based 7-Eleven captured the top spot in coffee, while former leader Speedway, Enon, Ohio, fell three spots.
Exxon was the dark horse in these rankings. 7-Eleven placed either second or third in all categories besides coffee and surged 10 ranks in three of them.
Brands with 250-999 locations
Kwik Trip dominated the 250-999 locations group. The La Crosse, Wis.-based c-store finished atop all categories, moving up one spot in coffee and three spots in customer service from the first quarter.
Altoona, Pa.-based Sheetz outranked rival Pennsylvania chain Wawa in all categories, finishing in the top five for all categories besides customer service. Wawa missed the top five for all categories and was replaced by Bloomington, Minn.-based Holiday Stationstores and Kum & Go of West Des Moines, Iowa—the latter which rose nearly 10 spots in multiple categories compared to the first quarter.
Brands with 50-249 locations
Stewart’s Shops sits atop the throne in every category except coffee for the 50-249 location sector. The Saratoga Springs, N.Y.-based chain dethroned Hy-Vee in four of the six categories, although the West Des Moines, Iowa, chain still finished second place in every category besides coffee.
Powell, Tenn.-based Weigel’s Farm Stores had a strong showing, coming in first place for the coffee category and placing in the top five for all others. Town Pump was the sleeper, though. The Butte, Mont.-based chain saw top-five finishes for every category besides coffee and soared more than 20 ranks in three of them compared to the first quarter.
Brands with 30-49 locations
The 30-49 locations group was a showdown between Tonawanda, N.Y.-based NOCO Express and Kelley’s Market. The former took gold in cleanliness, customer service and outdoor lighting, while Rockford, Ill.-based Kelley’s won in coffee and the overall scale. This was NOCO’s first appearance on any GasBuddy quarterly ranking. Other first-timers included Springfield, Mass.-based Pride Markets and Savannah, Ga.-based Parker’s.
Lake Jackson, Texas-based Buc-ee’s placed first in restrooms for the second consecutive quarter and made top-five finishes everywhere else, including second place in three categories.
Click here to view the full GasBuddy report.