A food theater in a convenience store. How many owners would shut down their operation, reinvent the company, and continue to look at how their operation will look 10 and 20 years into the future? Steve Sheetz, chairman of Sheetz Inc of Altoona, Pa. is this kind of creative thinker.
Sheetz currently operates 334 stores in six states – Pennsylvania, Maryland, Ohio, West Virginia, Virginia and North Carolina – and employs more than 11,000 people. With 2006 revenue exceeding $3.5 billion, Sheetz ranks at number 79 on the 2006 Forbes list of Top Private U.S. Companies.
The first Sheetz modern facility debuted in June of 2004, a 10,000 square-foot restaurant which offered a broad menu prepared in a food theater where customers watch as employees in white chef coats prepare their selections. The facility also features dine-in options with indoor and outdoor seating for more than 100 customers, the first touch screen drive-thru, digital menu boards, touchless bathrooms, and gas islands with pay at the pump capability.
Mr. Sheetz is a 1965 graduate of Altoona Area High School and a 1969 graduate of the Pennsylvania State University where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in business management. He also completed the owner/president management program at Harvard University. Upon graduation from college he became supervisor and director of operations for the four Sheetz stores in operation. He has served in the management of the Sheetz organization ever since. Mr. Sheetz is a past chairman of the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS).