Beloved Philadelphia Store Chain Wawa Is Gutted by New Kiosk Ordering System

A Phildadelphia-based Wawa convenience store features a "controversial" new system in which customers can order through a kiosk. Let's break it down.

Callie (Carlos) Cadorniga - Author

Aug. 28 2023, Published 2:30 p.m. ET

When it comes to the 50 states of America, certain states have cultural aspects and factors that make them individual. New York has good pizza and a famous metropolis that gets destroyed in just about every sci-fi movie. California is best known as the hub for all things Hollywood. Florida provides loving homes for elderly racists and transphobes, not to mention the infamous Florida Man. Then there's Philadelphia, which has plenty of things that make it uniquely Philly.

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There's the Philly Cheesesteak, the Liberty Bell, the violent sports riots whether a team wins or loses, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, and of course, there's Wawa.

Though this chain of convenience stores operates in multiple states like New Jersey, Delaware, and Maryland, the chain has its greatest presence in Philly. For all intents and purposes, Wawa is a Philly thing. Unfortunately, its new system of ordering through kiosks is causing a bit of a stir on the internet.

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This Philadelphia Wawa lets you order through kiosks, but customers are conflicted.

In late August 2023, TikToker No Shorts (@noshortsusa) posted a TikTok about their visit to Wawa. They typically upload videos pertaining to all things Philly, including sporting events, city landscape views, and celebrity visits. Unfortunately, their trip to Wawa wasn't necessarily something to celebrate.

If you're making a run to a convenience store like Wawa, you're typically only going to pick up a quick snack to take home or to munch on right away. It's the kind of place where you'd want to just grab your stuff and go. However, the Wawa experience has been brought to the 21st century in the weirdest way possible.

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Gone are the shelves of food, simple groceries, and snacks that you could simply pluck from. In OP's TikTok, this particular Philly location for Wawa has completely cleared the store floor in place of kiosks with touch pads. Because of this new layout, the way you order has completely changed too.

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Customers are made to use the kiosk to poke and flip through categories to find the thing they're actually looking for. Once you've made your selections and paid for everything, you approach a manned counter, where someone working the counter will eventually hand you a bag with your items. OP highlighted the convoluted nature of this whole process by going through each of the steps just to pick up their order of one bag of Sour Patch Kids.

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By nature, a convenience store should be, well ... convenient! Adding new technology to something isn't necessarily a bad thing, but not when it adds so many extra steps to a process that basically boiled down to "walk in, pick up items, purchase, and leave." Having to swipe through all those categories is quantifiably less convenient than doing all of this yourself.

Folks in the comments section are somewhat divided about whether or not this is a good thing for Wawa. One TikTok user found screens like this inaccessible, claiming that "when you click next to scroll through the snacks screen or something, it just takes you to checkout."

Another person claims that they "didn't know what to do" when walking into these souped-up new Wawas. OP themselves even seemed flabbergasted at the changes.

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Interestingly enough, though, some people were either intrigued or supportive of the changes.

One person stated, "Wawa is actually so smart for this." Another even called it "genius."

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For the most part, though, Philly-based Wawa fans decried the changes made to this particular store. Many believe that the unspoken culture of the store has been tarnished by its attempt to streamline the shopping experience.

Do you think your convenience store shopping could use a glow up or would you rather just walk into a Wawa, pick up whatever you need yourself, and leave without the need of a touch screen?

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