Scots first for ‘Stone Willy’

A service station in Falkirk has become the first forecourt in Scotland to offer the Stone Willy food-to-go range from the USA.

Service station staff were given intensive training before the kitchen was opened to the public and the new hot food offering is being heavily promoted on site.

With a hot food range including pizzas, wraps and melts, the Stone Willy kitchen, with dedicated seating area, was installed by Certas Energy at its Carronvale Service Station in Larbert as part of a major refurbishment of the site.

Retail operations manager for Certas Energy, Colin Levy, said the decision to trial Stone Willy was taken after a 12 month review of the food-to-go market and the offers of the leading franchise operators.
“We were attracted by the company’s business model and its understanding of our market place,” he said.
“Add to that the quality, taste and variety of the food range, the speed of service and the family appeal of the products.”

Levy said that if the trial is a success, Certas will introduce the concept to other sites in its Scottish estate of 25 forecourts.

Before he joined Certas, Levy spent 18 years with BP and had responsibility for the introduction of M&S Simply Food stores to its forecourts.

He said he believed the Stone Willy franchise has a fresh and visually impressive look and feel complimenting the Gulf brand.

“The products are appetising, competitively priced and with very good margins,” he said.
“In our negotiations we also took into consideration our Gulf dealer network. The forecourt food-to-go market is currently the fastest growing sector within our industry, the revenue potential is excellent and it is important not to be left behind.”

Levy said the set up costs are almost half those of some franchises and the terms more flexible, adding: “We were mindful that some dealers will be restricted by floor area and capital outlay and that made it important for us to find a solution that could work for the majority, not the minority.”

Staff were put through an intensive training course and the new food is being heavily promoted on site, to passing traffic, through social media and in the local press.

Levy said: “There is a real excitement on site and every member of the Carronvale team has bought into the concept.

“We serve from 6am to 9pm every day of the week, so our first Stone Willy Kitchen is now open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.”