Out of Clark’s Pump-N-Shop’s 68 locations in Kentucky, West Virginia, Ohio and Florida, 46 have a drive-through — a feature that’s especially attractive amid the COVID-19 pandemic, as Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines recommend avoiding close contact with other people and high-touch surfaces in public places.
Director of Operations Brian Unrue said he’s seen a slight increase in drive-through use, but overall, customer behavior is mostly the same.
“It seems that customers who walk in still continue to frequent our stores the same way,” he said.
But that doesn’t mean it’s business as usual at Clark’s. In fact, the chain rolled out a companywide COVID-19 policy for all personnel and has issued numerous safety and sanitation measures.
“Our main concern is to keep our CSRs safe and protected while still offering great customer service,” said Unrue.
All locations now feature hand sanitizer at the islands and at checkout and food counters, and all stores are required to sanitize pump handles, restrooms and counters on a daily basis.
Plus, because they are self-serve, Clark’s has temporarily halted all roller grills in its stores. It has also closed all in-store dining areas and is now offerings its Clark’s Café menu items for takeout only.
While the company is “always hiring,” according to Unrue, Clark’s is currently advertising openings at all locations in an effort to help “anyone who might be out of a job due to the mandatory shutdowns.”
Unrue said Clark’s is working to be proactive, rather than reactive. But he expects the situation to get worse before it gets better.
“Everyone in the c-store industry will have to adapt on a daily basis,” he said.