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OTTUMWA, Iowa — Elliott Oil Co. is a regional leader in the growing trend of including a fast-casual concept inside a convenience store, reported FastCasual.com. The Pita Pit it opened inside an Ottumwa store is both a new concept for Elliott and the first fast-casual concept in the city.
The company decided to rebuild the store, located at 1147 N. Jefferson St., when the city began doing major work at the nearby intersection. The new 4,000-square-foot store devotes 1,000 square feet to the Pita Pit and offers indoor seating, WiFi and a frozen yogurt bar.
The store and its new concept reopened last fall. Today, the Pita Pit makes up 38 percent of in-store sales at this location, while general foodservice makes up approximately 28 percent of systemwide store revenue, according to the report.
The Pita Pit's success is partially due to its appeal to Millennials, according to Elliott Oil Vice President Andrew Woodard.
"My generation still really focuses on the basics: convenient location, clean location, competitively priced," Woodard told the news outlet. "They also want to create their own meal. That's what Pita Pit offers. It's made right in front of you."
Elliott Oil is now considering adding fast-casual outlets to other Ottumwa c-stores.