Sheetz vs. Wawa
The ultimate debate for this mid-Atlantic region.
Coming from New York, where there's basically only 7-11, experiencing Wawa for the first time years ago was a magical experience. It became a staple, must-stop whenever I can to the region and saw one. For those not in the know, Wawa is a gas station convenience store. A seemingly simple thing, yet somehow they have turned it into an experience.
However! Sheetz overlaps a good part of the same region. Sheetz is also a gas station convenience store and drew a lot of its inspiration Wawa and become its own amazing entity. Over the years there have been many regional battles of who's better.
For years, I have been on Team Wawa. Once I get into Wawa territory, it's the only gas station I want to fill up at, pick up road snacks, enjoy a cup of coffee, use their bathroom. They have everything. Make your own sandwiches of all varieties, all sorts of bottled drinks. Explaining the awesomeness of Wawa to someone who has never been there... gets a little difficult. "It's like 7-11 but way better." "Think of 7-11 but on steroids" Then there are people that are weirded out that you have such a love for a gas station. It's strange, yes, but... it's Wawa.
Moving to Maryland the first time, we had 3 in very close distance. One even across the street from where I work. That was dangerous. But hey, they added a rewards program so at least I would get something back after a while. Who doesn't love free coffee or sandwiches? Breakfast wraps on those mornings where you just feel a little too lazy or sluggish to make your own. Going back to the coffee, it tastes great. They have their own creamers too, which are all dairy-free! No need to worry lactose-intolerant people, they have you covered.
Any time of day you can come to this magical place and have a sandwich made just the way you want it; turkey, roast beef, chicken. Add guac if you want, it's Maryland, so go crazy and add Old Bay too. Thanksgiving bowls in November, Hoagiefest in the summer, free coffee Tuesdays, promotions year-round! Need snacks, they have you covered. You can fuel those chocolate cravings with candy bars, salty cravings with chips or popcorn. Try not to get a brain freeze with their slushy drinks. If someone tried to tell me Sheetz was better, I would defend Wawa every time.
Over the last few months, however... Sheetz has gained my loyalty. And it's not just one specific Sheetz. It started growing on the road. How they were much more prevalent in the mid-Atlantic region leading into the Midwest. This is what started it. But there's more to it.
1) Their app and rewards program. It blows Wawa's out of the water. You're able to scan at the pump and earn rewards for gas. You can scan at the register and earn rewards for all that stuff you purchase. You can use the points you earn to either get products for free or my personal favorite, get $0.05 off each gallon of gas for that particular fillup. You can add various promotions onto your card too. It also has things like the Wawa app where you can order in advanced and store and store your gift cards. But overall, the Sheetz app is way more user friendly and their rewards program is more extensive and...rewarding.
2) Their drink selection! They have all the usual suspects, soda, teas, waters, coffee, booze, but add in aloe tea, fancy teas and more. It's especially nice for us, since we enjoy drinks that aren't loaded up with sugar. The options for these are so much more plentiful at Sheetz.
3) Their coffee machine! Need a quick coffee? They have the standard coffee makers Wawa uses (and most other gas stations too) But they also have the new one which will grind the beans and brew you a fresh perfect cup of coffee when you have those few extra minutes to wait. So fresh it even has the foam on top. I can't fully explain it but the flavor of the coffee is exponentially better when the beans are freshly ground and brewed immedietely. Sheetz doesn't make their own creamers and whatnot but they do have pretty much any flavor you're looking for. Non-dairy and dairy.
4) Their Made to Order (MTO) menu has expanded! You don't just have the option of greasy, fried food anymore. You can go healthy, somewhat healthy or "I don't care today." Salads to quesarittos (a burrito made with a quesadilla [yeah!]) Burgers to breakfast wraps. Their sauce selection is huge too. Spicy, not spicy, creamy, mustards, so many! And again, any time of day, you can have your creation made custom to you.
5) They have seating! Granted we're talking pre- (and hopefully post-) Covid times. If you're not in a rush, you can eat there and not in the car when you're traveling. No need to worry about getting your car dirty with a sauce-plosion or fallen lettuce. And as I'm writing this, they are alerting everyone that seating is going to opened up again soon! Hooray!
6) On one of our Sheetz runs, our cashier was wearing a Sheetz mask and I asked how I could get one and she said their not for sale, the manager had them made for them. She also then put her finger to her lips in a "shhh" manner and ran to the back. When she came back to the front she layed 3 masks on the counter and let me choose one! On top of it all, its a pretty awesome face mask. Full coverage, nose piece, adjustable ear straps, the Sheetz "S." Great mask!
Anyway, those are my main reasons for shifting my overall alliace to Team Sheetz. Now, that's not to say that I don't still love Wawa. Wawa is still amazing in its own right. But if they were side by side and I had to choose which one to walk into.... Right now, it would be Sheetz.