GetGo’s Cox Committed to Convenience

Jon Cox is excited about the business growth GetGo has experienced with its fresh food offerings.

By David Bennett, Senior Editor

Jon Cox began his food journey working in a grocery store through high school and college. His varied supermarket experiences brought him to Giant Eagle Inc. five years ago, where he’s spent the past 18 months interrupting the convenience store space by leading all food and beverage efforts for the company’s GetGo chain.

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“Coming up through the supermarket business provided me with an appreciation for the need for quality and freshness in everything that you do,” said Cox, the senior director of food and beverage for GetGo. “My hope is to apply those principles to the amazing fresh food growth being experienced by GetGo and other convenience store operators.”

So far, 2019 is off to a unique start for Cox and Pittsburgh-based GetGo, as the 200-store convenience chain is now joining the GetGo and Ricker’s brands as the company recently completed its acquisition of Ricker Oil Co.

For Cox, the new endeavor means one thing—a chance to merge the better of these two great brands to deliver an even better fresh food experience for more consumers.
With a penchant for leadership and motivation to blaze new trials, Convenience Store Decisions is happy to include Cox as a 2019 Foodservice Frontrunner.

Cox is excited about the growth the GetGo business has experienced with its fresh food offerings, attributing it to two main drivers:
•Innovation: Through developments like self-checkout, a mobile application that enables GetGo mobile ordering, and an extremely rewarding fuelperks! loyalty program, GetGo utilizes technology to make the customer experience as frictionless as possible.
•Differentiation: Operating within an intensely competitive landscape, GetGo aspires to be the food quality leader in its operating markets. Cox and the banner’s dedicated product development chef work tirelessly to bring customer preferences and food trends together to differentiate the menu in a way that’s both unique and delicious.

The traditional convenience store stereotype is not one of a speedy in-store shopping experience, or of time-saving mobile ordering technology let alone of customizable, made-fresh-to-order meal solutions. The GetGo concept proudly shatters all of those misconceptions.

With an overarching commitment to taking the cons out of convenience, GetGo strives to be the place where customers can have it all. It’s obvious after one taking one look at their expansive, customizable menu. Originally known as a place to get a great sandwich, throughout the past 18 months, Cox and the GetGo team have made serious strides in ensuring that the menu has something for everyone regardless of dietary restriction or preference.

In addition to exciting and seasonally relevant “Limited Time Offer” subs that deliver unique flavor profiles like the Captain, the Pilgrim and the General, customers can find everything from salads to burgers and antibiotic-free chicken options. Continually refreshing the made-fresh-to-order menu and grab-and-go offerings keeps customers engaged and coming back for more.

GetGo’s unparalleled commitment to fresh, delicious food was solidified by the company’s acquisition of Ricker’s in late 2018, making GetGo the No. 2 player in the Indiana market. With strategic locations, passionate team members, a strong customer base and well-executed menu items, there is no doubt that the Ricker’s integration will serve to benefit GetGo customers across the banner’s footprint.

As the GetGo menu continues to evolve, customers can expect to find some new item categories as GetGo and Ricker’s harmonize offerings—think burritos and quesadillas to start.

It’s pedal to the metal for GetGo, and looking five years forward, that’s not going to change. Cox plans to continue to focus on menu innovation to stand out as the high-quality player in the space. As he homes in on what up-and-coming generations expect, it becomes increasingly important that GetGo is able to compete in the digital and delivery space, while still being recognized as a destination for made-fresh-to-order food and grocery offerings.

As the convenience space evolves, Cox suggested that the chain may leverage the resources of its parent company, regional grocer Giant Eagle, to explore an increased presence in ready-to-eat and ready-to-cook meal solutions that could establish GetGo as a one-stop-shop for breakfast, lunch and dinner.