Wawa suspending made-to-order food in Philadelphia over COVID-19 outbreak

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Wawa stores in Philadelphia temporarily suspended in-store built-to-order service beginning Friday.

The change to the popular convenience store chain's food options coincides with the city of Philadelphia's efforts to fight the spread of the coronavirus.

The change went into effect at the 42 Philadelphia Wawa stores at 5 a.m.

"Following recent guidance from Philadelphia City officials, beginning March 27th, we are temporarily suspending built-to-order custom food service ordering in our Philadelphia stores. To help offset this temporary change, we are expanding our express offer of both hot and cold foods to include more options," said Wawa in a statement.

The company's news release read, "This change in our Philadelphia City stores will enable us to move people through the store faster and keeping their interactions brief, while further encouraging the practice of social distancing. As an essential provider, we will remain open to serve our Philadelphia community with hot and cold express items and an assortment of provisioning and packaged goods, keeping the health and safety of every associates and customer in our store our top priority."

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As the new coronavirus outbreak continues to uproot American lives, many are racing to the stores to stockpile on food, medicine and, of course, toilet paper.

"I like it because it's keeping us safe," said customer Hope Barbara.

While the made-to-order service is suspended, the chain's nearly four dozen Philadelphia stores will still have pre-made hoagies and a larger selection of hot and cold food items available in the express cases to grab and go.

Customer Adam Dvorin supports the change to keep customers and associates safe.

"I felt there was risk touching the touch screens; I felt waiting for your order was a risk and I felt being in a closed space where it's tough to keep 6-feet apart (was a risk)," said Dvorin.

Wawa's full menu of food options is still available through delivery services.

"Wawa's full built-to-order menu items will remain available in the City of Philadelphia through delivery service provided by our partners at Door Dash, Grub Hub and UberEats," Wawa added.

RELATED: Social distancing: What is it, and how it slows spread of coronavirus

Additionally, the following four Philadelphia stores will be converted to serve as fulfillment sites for all delivery orders and mobile order pick up locations where customers can place their order through The Wawa App and select one of the following locations:

  • Store #8006 - 6800 Rising Sun Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19111

  • Store #8064 - 3341 Grant Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19114

  • Store #247 - 518-520 South 2nd Street, Philadelphia, PA 19147

  • Store #8013 - 2535 Aramingo Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19125

On Wednesday, Wawa officials announced an employee at a store in Philadelphia became infected with the virus. The employee worked at the store located at 2535 Aramingo Avenue. The store will be closed temporarily as the company evaluates the situation.

Another worker in Lehigh County was also confirmed to be infected with the virus.

All Wawa stores already stopped self-serve coffee bars. Now, employees pour the beverages for customers.
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