That has changed a lot as Canada’s coffee market has heated up and many gas stations have full service coffee from leading brands such as Tim Hortons, McDonalds and even Starbucks.
Irving stations in Atlantic Canada which have Circle K stores (operated by Couche Tard) are being renovated with “Simply Great Coffee” counters that feature a more cafe-like feel and a high end self serve machine that serve specialty drinks and would be more at home in an airline lounge than a convenience store.
The program is part of a greater push by Couche Tard into coffee. The c-store operator is adding these new $15,000 USD, Swiss-made machines to 2000 stores in the next year. The machines provide a wide range of coffees and have seen sales jump to 400 cups per day in some stores, compared to the North American average of 100 cups per day.
Staff are also wearing aprons stating that they have received training about coffee and drawing attention to the switch in java.
It is clear that coffee is a traffic driver and c-stores are looking to up their game to better compete for that morning (and daylong) footfall.