Full Service Gas Stations

in On Entrepreneurship

Where, oh where, have they gone?

Other than the People’s Republic of New Jersey and other states where full service is mandated by law, it’s hard as heck to find a gas station that offers full service. Why don’t they invent a gas pump that can switch between full and self service. Instead of blocking of an entire lane for a full day, they can open a single lane (or single pump) for full service during peak operating hours. This is differentiation folks, and there is always room at the high end.

On a related note, far too many successful businesspeople pay attention to far too many small things. The price of gas being one. Sheesh. Suck it up, compensate economics, and stop whining! grin

{ 37 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Capt. Nat June 18, 2012 at 3:55 pm

I am doin’ some reasearch into the possibilites of a full serve (the old kind) gas station here in Florida and I appreciate the remarks made here. Thanks! It gives me an idea that it just may work given that it is handled right.

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2 Homer December 15, 2010 at 5:58 pm

Hell no!

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3 anonymous November 22, 2010 at 5:41 pm

I would absolutely not mind paying more for full service. The day the customer had to start bagging their own groceries, fill their own gas tanks, and have a phone call answered with a computerized voice and choices, without a drop in the cost of things was a sad day for customers. Our gas prices in Montana are comparable to those in Oregon and NJ. Our groceries are higher., and nothing compares to the frustration of being put on hold for 20 minutes, when you are trying to talk to someone. Nothing changed except that big corporations lined their pockets with more profit and less customer service because they don’t have to really listen to a complaint from a customer.

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4 jody May 18, 2010 at 2:31 pm

greenup shell station in greenup,ky has full service

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5 Anonymous April 7, 2010 at 3:56 am

It's really hard to find full service gas stations nowadays, because of economic crisis.

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6 adamkells October 25, 2009 at 7:07 pm

There are still many full-service stations in the United States. I am employed at Mobil station in Minnesota. We use to utilize pumps that offered full & self service, but due to our distributor we had to update our pumps. We offer a variety of services, window washing, checking tires/oil, along with getting customers anything from inside the store (candy, pop, coffee, etc.) Full service is starting to make a comeback due to business trying to differentiate themselves from competitors due to rising gas prices.

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7 adamkells October 25, 2009 at 2:07 pm

There are still many full-service stations in the United States. I am employed at Mobil station in Minnesota. We use to utilize pumps that offered full & self service, but due to our distributor we had to update our pumps. We offer a variety of services, window washing, checking tires/oil, along with getting customers anything from inside the store (candy, pop, coffee, etc.) Full service is starting to make a comeback due to business trying to differentiate themselves from competitors due to rising gas prices.

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8 Anonymous December 13, 2008 at 1:17 am

Hi,
What is the most comprehensive service that anyone has currently, or has heard of in America?
Such as gas,windows,tires,oil,wash,coffee,donuts,etc.
While a customer was being served…
Thanks!
Bob

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9 Anonymous December 13, 2008 at 6:17 am

Hi,
What is the most comprehensive service that anyone has currently, or has heard of in America?
Such as gas,windows,tires,oil,wash,coffee,donuts,etc.
While a customer was being served…
Thanks!
Bob

Reply

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13 Anonymous November 2, 2008 at 5:13 am

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14 Anonymous October 19, 2008 at 8:47 pm

I am planning a trip from St. Louis, Missouri to Omaha, Nebraska and am wondering if there is a listing for FULL service gas stations.  You can email me at barbwilliams627sbcglobal.net.  I will appreciate any help you can give me.

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15 Anonymous October 17, 2008 at 7:01 pm

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19 Anonymous June 3, 2008 at 10:26 pm

Could you send me a list of all the full service stations in Missouri

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20 Anonymous June 4, 2008 at 3:26 am

Could you send me a list of all the full service stations in Missouri

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21 Anonymous March 15, 2008 at 10:40 pm

is it against the law to have a full service gas station in california even though its a independent gas station?

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22 Anonymous March 16, 2008 at 3:40 am

is it against the law to have a full service gas station in california even though its a independent gas station?

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23 Anonymous March 7, 2008 at 7:46 pm

hi, very nice post

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24 Anonymous March 8, 2008 at 12:46 am

hi, very nice post

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25 Anonymous February 12, 2007 at 5:15 pm

I am 70 years old and have Rheumatoid Arthritis which makes it difficult to pump my own gas.  I am planning a trip from St. Louis, Missouri to Omaha, Nebraska and am wondering if there is a listing for FULL service gas stations.  You can email me at barbwilliams627sbcglobal.net.  I will appreciate any help you can give me.

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26 Anonymous February 12, 2007 at 10:15 pm

I am 70 years old and have Rheumatoid Arthritis which makes it difficult to pump my own gas.  I am planning a trip from St. Louis, Missouri to Omaha, Nebraska and am wondering if there is a listing for FULL service gas stations.  You can email me at barbwilliams627sbcglobal.net.  I will appreciate any help you can give me.

Reply

27 Anonymous December 29, 2006 at 12:47 am

Michael,
I am writing a bill for a YMCA youth and government program. My bill is trying to mandate full-service stations in Washington State. But I need some more information regarding the cost of full-service for the government and what effect it would have on the employment. Do you possibly have some answers for me?

Anna

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28 Anonymous December 29, 2006 at 5:47 am

Michael,
I am writing a bill for a YMCA youth and government program. My bill is trying to mandate full-service stations in Washington State. But I need some more information regarding the cost of full-service for the government and what effect it would have on the employment. Do you possibly have some answers for me?
Anna

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29 Anonymous February 13, 2006 at 4:02 am

Hello, this website has given me great ideas for a school civics paper. I completely understand both of your ideas and Michael, your idea with one lane or something full-service is just awesome. California could totally use some extra jobs!!
Chelsea
——-

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30 Anonymous September 27, 2004 at 3:09 pm

My Dad owns a gas station and it is full service. We live in Greenwich, Ohio and we like to take care of our custumers. Our stations name is “GREENWICH GAS AND SERVICE CENTER” come check us out!

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31 Anonymous September 27, 2004 at 8:09 pm

My Dad owns a gas station and it is full service. We live in Greenwich, Ohio and we like to take care of our custumers. Our stations name is “GREENWICH GAS AND SERVICE CENTER” come check us out!

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32 Anonymous June 24, 2004 at 12:06 am

Dan,

My original comments were about having a pump or a few pumps that could be turned to “full-service” prices during a) peak hours or b) special promotional hours. Are there enough people to support a full-time, all-pump business like this? I dunno. Depends largely on the area.

As for the owner of the gas station, just because he provides a higher-end service doesn’t mean he is marketing the service well. Just being different and catering to the affluent isn’t enough. They have to know about it. Does he advertise this point? Is it clearly ennunciated and present on all of his signage? Etc, etc, etc.? Just because he is failing with this, doesn’t mean it couldn’t work. At the very least as a part-time, part-station model.

Last, relative value is entirely a function of perception. Ask any “Joe American” who buys a high-end Bose audio system whether they think they are getting a high-end audio system and they’ll say yes. This perception has been carefully crafted by fantastic marketing. Ask an audiophile that question and they’ll laugh in your face! grin Value and perception of value is all in the marketing.

Michael

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33 Anonymous June 23, 2004 at 10:06 pm

I understand what you’re saying, Michael. There’s definitely a demand for it. No doubt. But is it significant enough to stay in business? Case in point… I live in a relatively affluent area in Oregon. (Actually, it’s the most affluent, but that’s not saying much for Oregon.) We have a Costco that’s selling gas for like $1.95 and the full service gas station I alluded to in my previous comment is selling it for $2.25. I know the owner of that gas station (not close but I know him) and he tells me that Costco is KILLING them and he doesn’t know how long he’s going to last.

Mind you, this guy’s station has two people come up to your car and pretty much does everything except vacuum the car out for you AND they are in a better, higher traffic area only about 200 feet off of I-5.

So, when the relative value doesn’t meet the pocket book’s ability… the high end service suffers of commodity types of products.

Best,
Dan

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34 Anonymous June 24, 2004 at 3:06 am

I understand what you’re saying, Michael. There’s definitely a demand for it. No doubt. But is it significant enough to stay in business? Case in point… I live in a relatively affluent area in Oregon. (Actually, it’s the most affluent, but that’s not saying much for Oregon.) We have a Costco that’s selling gas for like $1.95 and the full service gas station I alluded to in my previous comment is selling it for $2.25. I know the owner of that gas station (not close but I know him) and he tells me that Costco is KILLING them and he doesn’t know how long he’s going to last.
Mind you, this guy’s station has two people come up to your car and pretty much does everything except vacuum the car out for you AND they are in a better, higher traffic area only about 200 feet off of I-5.
So, when the relative value doesn’t meet the pocket book’s ability… the high end service suffers of commodity types of products.
Best,
Dan

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35 Anonymous June 23, 2004 at 8:06 pm

Dan,

Thanks for your comments.

Gas may be a commodity, but the service (the GAS BUSINESS, different than gas) that accompanies it is not. Informal observation in my area tells me a station that offered it, even at a significant premium, would receive significant traffic. My wife, for one, wouldn’t even think of going someplace else.

Michael

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36 Anonymous June 24, 2004 at 1:06 am

Dan,
Thanks for your comments.
Gas may be a commodity, but the service (the GAS BUSINESS, different than gas) that accompanies it is not. Informal observation in my area tells me a station that offered it, even at a significant premium, would receive significant traffic. My wife, for one, wouldn’t even think of going someplace else.
Michael

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37 Anonymous June 23, 2004 at 12:06 am

I live in Oregon and it’s against the law for the public to pump their own gas here. So, essentially, every gas station is full service.

However, there are a few that differentiate themselves from others by actually doing your windshield and all the little things that make you feel good about coming to them instead of someone else.

Unfortunately, however, this is taking a back seat to price right now. There’s not much room for
differentiation when prices are so high. Especially in a commodity business.

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