Alabama’s largest gas station and convenience store is scheduled to open Monday at the intersection of Interstate 10 and the Foley Beach Express in Baldwin County, but today first responders were welcomed to Buc-ee’s for free food and a tour. Dan Parkinson, new store opening coordinator, said the company is expanding from its home state of Texas and hoping to make an impression nationally.
“It’s the first of the company’s 35 stores to be located outside the state of Texas, and the first in our quest to take over the world, one clean bathroom at a time,” he said.
Indeed the bathrooms were gleaming … and large. The men’s room resembled that of an NFL stadium, only cleaner. Everything about the store is outsized, from the 120 fuel pumps to an expansive digital menu where customers can order sandwiches, burritos, wraps, chicken and other made-to-order items, or grab-and-go any of the thousands of branded food products lining the shelves or at other stations throughout the store.
“It’s a shopping detinantion designed for travelers,” Parkinson said. “No 18-wheelers are allowed on the property, we have a lot of special gift items … we’re the king of the last minute gift. We’ve got all kinds of cool and really unique items for home decor, swimwear, sunglasses, anything you need to go down to the beach, a smattering of tackle and live bait, but also grills, sports memorabila … just all kinds of stuff people may need when they’re out on the road or going on vacation.”
200 people were hired from an applicant pool of about 3,500 to staff the location 24 hours a day, every day of the week. Pay averages $14-$17 per hour.
“We wanted to get the best people who want to work,” Parkinson said. “It takes that level of staff to maintain the facility in the condition we want it to exceed customer expectations every time they come in.”
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