Posted in: Diesel Prices,
by Gregg Laskoski on Mar 19, 2014 02:30 PM
Johnnie’s Service Station in Dickson City, PA opened back in 1965 at a time when full-service gasoline stations dotted the landscape and customer service for pumping gas was the norm, the Times-Tribune reports. Fast-forward to 2014, where Johnnie’s still offers the same level of customer service and full-service gasoline as when it began nearly 50 years ago.
“We're a dinosaur,” said Johnnie Valtos, who has owned the business since the start. Today the business looks the pretty much the same as in the 1960s with an old-fashioned garage but no convenience store. “How did I survive?” asked the 71-year-old Valtos. “Doing the same thing I did all along — taking care of the customer.”
As we've reported from time to time, full-service gasoline stations outside of New Jersey and Oregon, which require attendants pump gas for customers, have become more and more scarce. Oil company consolidation and shrinking gas margins contributed to the move toward self-service pumps.
When Johnnie’s was first in business, Valtos said his gasoline profit margin was substantially higher per gallon than the now pennies per gallon profit margin, which drops even lower with credit card transactions. These days, he makes around $4 million in gross sales for gasoline, with an additional $600,000 from the garage, which does inspections, oil changes, muffler repairs and brake replacement.
Through the years, Johnnie’s has kept a steady clientele because of its attention to service and personal relationships. “Valtos is a monument here,” said Frank Armbruster, a longtime customer. “When I'm in trouble, he's here to help me out.”
When was the last time you saw 'full service' at a gas station?