CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.—Tiger Fuel, operator of The Markets convenience chain, plans to build its first drive-thru store on a 2.9-acre property in Scottsville, Va., reports the Daily Progress. The new outlet also will feature gas pumps and a car wash. The gas station and store can be built by right, but the car wash and drive-thru window needed a special-use permit, which was recently approved.
Although this is a Tiger Fuel first, Aaron Revere of Stockbridge Companies, a private Richmond-based real-estate development group, said the company has considered using drive-thru windows in the past. “Particularly in light of 2020, it may be even better; we’re starting to use apps, you can pre-order your sandwich, maybe there’s a coffee thing,” he said.
As Tiger Mart officials noted when requesting the necessary zoning change, “this is a new operational offering we are considering, especially considering the evolving services/needs for our customers due to COVID-19. That option may make it easier to offer coffee and freshly prepared meals utilizing our preorder Tiger-app. … We believe this will be a welcomed service to offer our customers in Scottsville.”
The company’s request was approved by local officials, but Councilor Zachary Bullock, who cast the lone vote against the permit, expressed concerned about the drive-thru giving Tiger Fuel a competitive edge over other local foodservice operators.
Drive-thrus have become increasingly critical during the pandemic as a way to efficiently and safely serve customers. Last month, Wawa opened its first stand-alone drive-thru-only store, as well its first location with a drive-thru window.
Find out how other retailers are wrestling with curbside pickup and drive-thrus in “Reimaging Retail with Drive-Thrus,” based on the NACS Crack the Code Experience spotlight session “Ideas From Around the World.” And read more about c-store drive-thru opportunities in “Pass Through” in the October issue of NACS Magazine.
NACS has compiled resources to help the convenience retail community navigate the COVID-19 crisis. For news updates and guidance, visit our coronavirus resources page.