Where do you go for gasoline and snacks? 7-Eleven? Local Quick Mart? What influences your choice? Do you choose a particular station because of location? Prices?
For most drivers, the choice of a gasoline station isn’t much fodder for conversation. Some go for location, others for lower prices, others for the variety of snacks and drinks (beer on sale could be a factor).
For me, it’s Pepsi-Cola.
For many years I visited a nearby 7-Eleven store. The gasoline price was a few cents less than the major oil company branded stores, and 7-Eleven gave buyers a choice between Coke and Pepsi. The Big Gulp has always been priced to sell to folks like me.
When 7-Eleven eliminated the choice they gave to customers and decided to sell only Coca-Cola products, I moved my business elsewhere. No hard feelings, 7-Eleven. Nothing personal. But you screwed with the customer and there are other choices. Better choices.
For a few years I purchased gasoline from a nearby Shell gasoline station’s mini-mart. The price was a few cents higher but the fountain Pepsi was a very good mixture, despite the large ice (I prefer crushed ice), and drinks were priced competitively with 7-Eleven.
The Shell station changed management and the new manager didn’t focus much on the details. Often, the fountain Pepsi would spew forth carbonated water and no Pepsi, indicating the fountain tanks were empty. Other times the ice would stick and not drop into the cup.
One day I dropped in and the Pepsi was a horrible mixture, less sugary, watery but with a bitter bite. That was enough to lose my $100 a month business (granted, most of it was gasoline, but multiply it times five years it’s $6,000 of lost business because they didn’t pay attention to the detail important to me).
The next nearest combination gasoline station and snack mart was a nearby Circle-K. I don’t even know what kind of gasoline they sell, but it’s always a few cents higher than anyone else.
It doesn’t matter. Their Pepsi-Cola fountain machine was designed by the Cola Gods. The fountain mixture is perfect. Not too sweet, not too much carbonation.
Adding to the decision making process was the price. Circle-K’s price was less than 7-Eleven and the local Shell gasoline station. But, wait! There’s more.
Circle-K’s machine has crushed ice. Not finely granulated ice, which melts quickly and can’t be nursed for an hour. True, rocky, odd-shapped, crushed ice. The Lord giveth in strange ways.
I must have done something to an angel disguised as a homeless man because this is the best Pepsi-Cola ever. After visiting the place for a month, and even buying gasoline each week, I was given yet another reward.
Refills at about half price. All I had to do was to remember to wash the plastic Pepsi cups and bring them to the station. Refills for $1.05. Either the 32 oz size or the large 44 oz size. Same price. $1.05.
How can one not have a belief in a higher being?