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QuikTrip is Workplace Unicorn of Convenience Store Industry

QuikTrip is Workplace Unicorn of Convenience Store Industry


QuikTrip, a convenience store enterprise headquartered in Tulsa, Okla., has demonstrated how to succeed through positive people practices. One of those is the practice of showing respect to their employees 24/7.

You will find no bigger QuikTrip fan than me. I use their gasoline almost exclusively for my cars, and our family frequents their stores because they are clean and well-stocked with a great selection of convenient items.  Look at my bank statement and you will see the evidence of my QuikTrip addiction.  I am hooked on their Diet Coke with Vanilla.  They have a crazy amount of fountain drink options.

quiktrip respect fortune

Photo from CSP Daily News.

When my wife is not around I will buy a hot dog.  In fact, every time I leave town I stop by QuikTrip to buy a drink (non-alcoholic) before I leave. But the biggest reason I am a QuikTrip fan is because their employees are friendly. They are the Unicorn of the convenience store industry. They show respect to their customers. They work hard all day and night and still treat people well.

Every time you walk into one of their stores an employee will welcome and acknowledge you.  At a time in America when many companies have forgotten about customer service, friendliness and showing respect, QuikTrip stands way above the pack in the convenience store industry, or most any industry. If you don’t believe me, visit a city that does not have a QuikTrip presence.  In fact, the City of Tulsa should advertise QuikTrip as a selling point for living here.

“The dictionary defines respect as giving particular attention to something or someone worthy of high regard.”

Showing respect to customers has to be one of their key ingredients to success. More importantly, I will venture to guess their employees are first shown tremendous respect by their leaders.  Typically, employees model the behavior they see in their leaders.  The dictionary defines respect as giving particular attention to something or someone worthy of high regard.  I suspect their employees treat me well when I walk through those swinging glass doors, because they are first treated in high regard by the company.

This is amazing when you consider the culture we live in today. Cable television provides an onslaught of news programs where people are arguing and yelling at each other. There is an endless lineup of reality shows where cut-throat antics are utilized to gain a competitive advantage.  Drivers on American roadways are more aggressive and less patient.  The workplace is becoming more dangerous and disrespectful where employees are seen as expendable assets rather than people with feelings and families.

“Before the customer enjoys respect, the employee must first benefit from a culture of respect.”

In light of our culture, I salute QuikTrip for creating an atmosphere of respect for employees which ultimately trickles down the line to their loyal and happy customers, like myself.  Before the customer enjoys respect, the employee must first benefit from a culture of respect.

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QuikTrip is rated by Fortune as the 68th Best Place to Work in America for 2017. They have made this prestigious list 14 years in a row.

Fortune says:

  • In an industry with an average turnover of 80%, this convenience store operator boasts a rate of 29%.
  • Managers are incentivized by bonuses when their employees want to stay with the company
  • New hire trainers get bonuses for employees who stay.
  • Part-timers receive a bonus of up to $1.15 an hour for every hour they have worked.

See their review here.




Kevin Kennemer is founder of The People Group based in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Kevin is driven by his passion for company owners and their need to earn a profit, employees' desire for a positive and fulfilling work experience, and the community that benefits when both groups do well.


  1. Bryan 15 years ago

    I always loved QuikTrip for these very reasons! The super-friendly employees (and managers), clean stores, cheap gas, and great drink and fast-food selection. These are all reasons I miss QT!

    There is a unique chain of supermarkets largely located along the West Coast and scattered throughout the US called TRADER JOE’S. Trader Joe’s, aside from having some of the most unique food and wine selections – all original and organic, is also a leader in low cost and one of the friendliest stores I have ever visited in my life. Every worker is genuinely smiling and happy to see you and will strike up conversations with guests. I have even sat in the car and watched my wife pick up a quick item or two. I will often see her through the window as she is talking and laughing with an employee. Most people walk out smiling, feeling good about their experience and themselves.

    I’ve always thought this was an interesting place, and think it speaks highly of the company who employs these people.

  2. John 2 years ago

    That is a great article about an outstanding company! Well said and I agree, as QT has embodied the same culture now 13 years after this article was first written. This is a testament to great leadership and core values demonstrated from the top down!

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