If you live in Orlando, like I do, you cannot turn on the radio and not hear a Wawa commercial. The online sites are also buzzing. Seems like everyone is talking about this Wawa. So I had to take a look.
The Wawa chain of stores is a convenient store and gas station wrapped into one. But this is no 7 Eleven. This company takes the 7 Eleven and amps it up quite a bit. I visited the location close to Sea World at International Dr. and Central Florida Parkway intersection. Looks like some roads were carved out to make for smoother accessibility. The front is a graced with many gas pumps spaciously placed. There are ample parking spaces in front of the store and on the sides. To one side of the store is outdoor seating.
Walking in you are immediately greeted by a cheery person who hands you a brochure and tries to give you directions. Yes, you need directions. Remember I said this is no ordinary convenient store? Here is the gist: You approach a touch screen computer and go nuts on your order. Yes, you place your own order, no room for error. The greeter answers questions, if you are as confused as I was. Then the brochure directs you to pay and pick up meal. But that is not the correct order. Because after you place your computerized order, you actually go stand in a line, if you can figure out where the line is, and collect your order. You can pick up other items as well such as coffee, drinks, desserts, and whatever else tickles your fancy. Then you walk across the store and pay. Confused yet? I was. But maybe there is an explanation or method to this mayhem that I am yet to see. Or maybe that’s how they do it up north? Maybe my slow Floridian sun drenched brain can’t think fast enough to get this idea. Hmm…. Let’s try the hoagies that everyone is raving about.
There are tons of items in this store to satisfy a wide variety of cravings. I was there to try the hoagies. Bread are 6 or 10 inches in length. Anything that your heart desires and you can find on the computer selection you can stuff in there. It appears that all the veggies are fresh and meats cut to order. The freshness of ingredients speak for themselves. It was a good sandwich.
There is a huge work force putting together various orders. The open concept kitchen offers interaction, or is that just for show? Because no one was interacting with guests rather they were in deep rapid conversation amongst themselves and it had nothing to do with food.
I welcome Wawa to the Florida market. Given tough economic times I am thankful that Wawa has chosen to expand and create jobs in Florida. However, I am hoping that their ordering process and attention to detail gets streamlined a bit. For a place with such fresh food I would hate to see what happens when an international, non English speaking, tour bus stops by and everyone is trying to figure out how to order. This is still a new concept in Florida and I hope they work the kinks out.