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    Wichita QuikTrips to Debut QT Kitchen

    Starting Dec. 1, 35 area stores will offer fresh foods.

    TULSA, Okla. -- In Wichita, 35 QuikTrip stores are gearing up to debut a line of fresh sandwiches, salads, desserts and pastries through QT Kitchens, beginning Dec. 1, company spokesman Mike Thornbrugh told the Wichita Eagle.

    The food for the products is made at QT Bakeries in Tulsa, Okla., and a Kansas City suburb, where it is then delivered daily to the company's stores, the report stated.

    "Initially, it's certainly going to impact the fast-food restaurants" near their stores, Don Sayler, president of the Kansas Restaurant and Hospitality Association, told the paper. "It's the initial impression they make that will determine how well it succeeds."

    Initially, the menu will include 24 to 26 bakery items -- including doughnuts, muffins, brownies and cookies -- four to six kinds of deli-style sandwiches, fruit cups and salads, according to the Eagle.

    "We're very excited to see where we're going to be in two or three years," Thornbrugh added. "This is just the beginning. There are going to be a lot more fresh food items."

    As part of the addition, the Wichita-area stores will be reformatted. About half of the stores will be complete by the December debut date, he told the paper.

    The program, developed in 2002, was tested in Tulsa, Okla., with better-than-expected results, according to the paper. Pastry sales doubled, Thornbrugh said, "blowing product out the door."

    After Wichita, the next region to see the addition of QT Kitchens is Des Moines, Thornbrugh told the paper.

    "We don't do anything short-term," Thornbrugh told the Eagle. "This is a long-term commitment to the fresh food business, and we're ready to compete in it with the industry right now."

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