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NATIONAL REPORT — For the second straight year, QuikTrip Corp. and Sheetz Inc. represent the convenience store industry on Fortune magazine's annual "100 Best Companies to Work For" list.
Both c-store chains improved their rankings compared to last year's list. QuikTrip landed at No. 68 this year, compared to No. 76 in 2016. Sheetz ranked at No. 87, rising 10 slots from No. 97 in 2016.
To identify the "100 Best Companies to Work For" each year, Fortune partners with Great Place to Work to conduct the most extensive employee survey in corporate America, according to the magazine.
Two-thirds of a company's score is based on the results of the Trust Index Employee Survey, which is sent to a random sample of employees from each company. This survey asks questions related to employees' attitudes about management's credibility, overall job satisfaction, and camaraderie. The other third is based on responses to the Culture Audit, which includes detailed questions about pay and benefit programs and a series of open-ended questions about hiring practices, methods of internal communication, training, recognition programs, and diversity efforts.
At QuikTrip, 93 percent of employees say their workplace is great. The company scored particularly high in "great pride" and "great communication," according to employee ratings. Additionally, 94 percent of employees said that QuikTrip offers "special and unique benefits."
Perks offered by the company include rewards for employee anniversaries, such as a jacket at one year for full-time employees, $400 for gifts at five years and $1,000 at 10 years. There is also an annual picnic for each division. More practical perks include the availability of doctors in all QuikTrip markets, frequently with same-day appointments regularly available. Other benefits include health benefits, family care programs and paid time off for volunteering.
Sheetz scored highest when it comes to offering "great rewards" and "great communication," with 93 percent of employees agreeing that they feel good about the ways they contribute to the community.
The company offers $1,500 in tuition reimbursement per year and partners with 26 colleges that offer discounted credit hours, which helps employees work their way up the ladder. Sheetz has a culture of promoting from within; 72 percent of store managers started as salespeople, and up to 50 store employees per year are promoted into corporate roles.
Perks include above-average pay, following Sheetz's January 2016 announcement of a $15 million wage increase for store employees, as well as an employee stock ownership program, employee bonuses at all levels and multiple forms of recognition for service.
"Sheetz employees aren't your typical fast-food or gas station employees. We're a whole new breed, and that's what makes Sheetz the best," said one employee. "Sheetz is a beast that not many competitors can shake a stick at, all because of the quality of service that the employees give, and the genuine care and love that we all have for one another."
The full list and profiles of the Best Companies to Work for is available here.
Tulsa, Okla.-based QuikTrip operates more than 700 convenience stores in 11 states, while Altoona, Pa.-based Sheetz operates more than 530 c-stores throughout Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Virginia, Maryland, Ohio and North Carolina.