Cafe, Not a Gas Station

Driving around I just noticed GetGo touts itself as a cafe and market first and foremost. Their website even says “cafe” in the name (www.getgocafe.com). For those not in the midwest, Get Go is Giant Eagle’s chain of convenience store gas stations. For me as a consumer, their formula of offering gas discounts for grocery shopping at their parent stores, works to keep me coming through the doors and stopping to get gas. I like the convenience, as well as fuel perks, anywhere from three cents do a dollar or more off of gasoline. Plus GetGo locations offer free air for everyone, which in arctic northeast Ohio, is a necessity (cold air in your tires condenses and ultimately tire pressures are lower in winter…anyway…).

So I love that they advertise themselves as a cafe. While I’ve never used them in this manner, I do appreciate the market part of the equation, and obviously the gas part too. And as a designer I can appreciate how they communicate “hey, we’re not just a gas station”. Places like GetGo and competitor Sheetz  have raised the bar beyond the gas station to the point where they are the destination, and the fuel is an added bonus of convenience. Go into either of these chains and you find modern, clean stores with great coffee, ready to eat food, beer, wine and convenience items, as well as space to take a break for lunch or coffee if need be. Sheetz even has expanded awnings above its fuel filling stations that stretch to the front doors, almost begging you to step inside for something you need. (Please though, move your car first so other can fuel up). Both brands, GetGo and Sheetz are well positioned for a future in which petrol-only refueling is on the wane, and convenience and satisfying experience is at the forefront.

The world of driving and convenience is going to look a lot different in five to ten years, and at that foundation will be stores like these that focus on the customer instead of product.

What do you like about the evolution of the gas station?

Where do you think it’s headed with the advent of autonomous, and electric cars?

Share your thoughts in the comments below.

-Chris

Article on Business Insider on Sheetz, if you’d like to find out more www.businessinsider.com/why-people-love-sheetz-2015-2

 

 

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