Wawa trying self-serve. Are gas stations next? (Opinion)
This is long overdue.
It has been announced that more Wawas are jumping into the trial program for self-serve cash register kiosks. It has been a trial program that is now expanding. There’s finally one in New Jersey. You’ll find it at their Lakewood location on Route 70. I hope it goes wall-to-wall (or should I say Wawa to Wawa?).
Wawa is fine. So is QuickChek. I’m not one of those Jersey guys that has any strong preference; I’ll go to whatever one is more convenient. But one thing that I do like about a lot of the QuickCheks is that they got into offering self-serve registers years ago.
I find it so much faster than waiting in a frustrating line. Especially when you get stuck behind somebody trying to instruct the live cashier on exactly which pack of cigarettes they want. “No, no the row above. No no! To the side. No the other side!”
There’s got to be a faster way to get cancer than this.
Or when you’re parked behind a professional lottery player who has to read off endless numbers to the cashier, straight AND box mind you.
So kudos to Wawa for trying to expand in this area for busier customers like me. This brings me to a general point about self-serve.
Even grocery stores have it. Heck, they even trust us to figure out how to do produce. Bananas? 4011, come on!
Some drug stores have it. Oh and isn’t that nice if you’re buying something questionable in the family planning section, like those Tandem rings I’ve seen?
Go to the post office for stamps? Nice to not have to wait in line when there’s a simple machine in the lobby, right?
When you think about it, even getting a soda out of a vending machine is a form of self-serve.
So why all the hysteria when it comes to the thought of self-serve gas? This remains and has always been one of the dumbest laws in the state of New Jersey. Plus it was only as a way to stop a guy named Irving Reingold, an entrepreneur whose huge self-serve gas station proved so popular among the public that his competition wanted to kill it. When violence didn’t work, they tried the ultimate thuggery: the state Legislature.
Not having self-serve gas is not a luxury, New Jersey. You drank the Flavor Aid if you believe so. And the ban on self-serve gas is nothing but a time suck. If you think wasting time is a luxury maybe you belong living in a sleepier place like South Carolina.
Oh but wait, even there you can pump your own gas, can’t you? The irony.
The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Jeff Deminski. Any opinions expressed are Jeff Deminski's own.