ALEXANDRIA, Va. – On this week’s episode of Convenience Matters, “The Ultimate Road Trip: Louisiana to Vegas,” NACS hosts Jeff Lenard and Carolyn Schnare talk with Frank Beard and Al Hebert. The podcast was taped in front of a live audience at the NACS Show in Las Vegas.
In the week leading up to the 2018 NACS Show, Frank Beard, from GasBuddy, and Al Hebert, the Gas Station Gourmet, drove from Louisiana to Las Vegas and only ate at gas stations for the entire trip. They covered 2,500 miles and stopped at 20 convenience stores.
The two chatted about the surprises they found along the way. Beard said that the food at Ceviche 365 in Dallas, Texas, was the best meal he’s had in six months. Herbert tried a wheatgrass smoothie for the first time at Emerge Artisan Juicery in Lafayette, Louisiana. And they both encountered impressive food service and fresh food from a Kwik Chek—something you don’t normally see from a large-scale chain.
But the thing that they enjoyed the most? Meeting the passionate convenience professionals along the way.
“The thing that I find in common with the people who do really well in the c-store business who are doing food is the passion,” Hebert said. “If your employees and customers sense your passion, everything about your store and your food is going to be better. Because great food tends to start with great passion.”
Another unexpected stop happened at Urban Dish “in the middle of nowhere.” The guys ended up eating a gluten-free pizza with pesto, artichoke hearts and fresh mozzarella, and an oatmeal cookie ice cream sandwich. But again, it all came back to the passion. Hebert noticed the employees behind the counter, not the owners, but still just as enthusiastic about educating and helping Hebert and Beard. “It’s those people behind the counter that can make a real experience for your customers,” explained Hebert.
Relive their weeklong journey on Twitter and LinkedIn by searching for the hashtag #NACSroadtrip. Check out the article in the Texas Food & Fuel Association, and for a recap of last year’s adventure, read “Road Trippin’” from the December 2017 NACS Magazine.
Each week a new Convenience Matters episode is released. The podcast can be downloaded on iTunes, Google Play and other podcast apps, and at www.conveniencematters.com. Episodes have been downloaded by listeners more than 60,000 times in 80 countries.