With the price of oil sinking fast, gas profits are likely to sink as well. Gas stations, however, have other sources of income. Hot dogs are normally pretty cheap at gas stations, but every little bit helps. The profits from the lowly gas-station dog, it turns out, add up to quite a chunk of change.
Gas station hot dogs tend to be greasy and are sometimes overcooked. You never really know how long that hot dog has been turning on the heater. Yet, these dogs are quite popular. Two reasons explain that fact: the price is right, and they are ready to eat.
Shell alone brought in six billion dollars last year from junk food sales at its 45,000 locations around the globe. Now, that is not from hot dogs alone, but it is still a staggering statistic. In some places, like Norway, a single gas station will sell around 1,000 hot dogs per day. In some nations Shell sees as much as 60 percent of its revenue coming in from non-fuel-related sales.
Andrew Heiberger knows that it is one of the oldest tricks in the book to lure customers to a gas station with fuel rates a few cents cheaper than the competition only to sell them expensive food items. We do not here single out Shell for this practice, but simply make a general point. It reminds one of Ben Franklin’s advice to be more wary of a multitude of small, unnecessary purchases than of the high-priced items