Tates Spar Battlefield, Shropshire, opened 18 months ago and is Tates’ flagship site. It recently got a new store manager, Sharon Stanley, who took over from David Hammond after he was promoted internally.
But it’s not all been plain sailing for Sharon, who says: "A week before I took over we were hit by terrible flooding, the shop was under 17 inches of water at one point! It’s taken a while to get back to normal but we’re nearly there. The main focus is food-to-go and I’ve changed staffing to do more breakfasts. We get drivers coming in for fuel from 6am and they want their bacon baps. Weekly food-to-go sales have gone up from about £6,200 to £6,750."
Other changes at the stunning site, also the winner of Best Food-to-Go outlet, include swapping freshly-made smoothies for soup this winter.
=== oil company owned franchisee operated ===
This is the second consecutive year the Murco/Costcutter Wallasey Service Station has been given this award - and the site is a very worthy winner.
Owner Sivalingham Pragash takes great pride in the business and says the secret to success is loyal staff who greet customers with a smile. He also believes in keeping things clean and tidy with a friendly and informal working atmosphere.
And Sivalingham tries to keep the site in Merseyside, which sells about 6m litres of fuel per year, at the heart of the community.
He says: "My wife and I couldn’t believe it when we won the award again, we’ve worked really hard to keep our standards high, and that includes our customer service. The site is pretty much the same as last year, and it remains popular."
=== Independent Nine sites or less ===
Since buying the BP Westacre site near Salisbury earlier this year, Clive Gardner has made many changes.
Clive, who owns five other sites, says the atmosphere and ambience of the site was all wrong when he took over. He set to work on an overhaul and says the change has been startling. "We’ve added an off-licence, revamped the food-to-go - and made it open at the times that customers want it open, not just to suit the shop. We’ve turned it into a 24-hour site, added new stock lines, pricing and offers. We’ve also put in music and tidied the place up a bit. Customers want welcoming staff, clean loos and a great shopping experience. If there’s a strong shop they’re there for the destination, not just for cheap fuel. And many seem happy to pay a little bit more for their fuel if they’re getting the extras."
=== Independent with 10 sites or more ===
The Carsley Group bought Cromwell Services near Newark, Nottinghamshire, last year with the intention of redeveloping it.
And since the newly rebuilt site re-opened last March it’s been proving a huge success with customers, not least because of its Costa Coffee offering and welcoming wi-fi lounge with sofas and TV. Just off the A1, it now has a popular off-licence as well as a well-stocked Londis store. Owner Mark Carsley says: "The store and forecourt hit their second-year targets for sales and volume in three months, so it’s proving a fantastic site.
"The sofas and TV are a big draw - in one respect it’s a dead space because you can’t sell anything in there, but people come to the site because of it and buy other things while they’re there."