This afternoon, I stopped by the QT Kitchens tasting event at the QuikTrip at 37th St. N. and Rock that is about to open.
The kitchens offer toasted sandwiches, flatbread sandwiches, personal pizzas, soft pretzels with dipping sauce, breakfast sandwiches, fancy coffee drinks, smoothies, milkshakes, soft serve cones and Twisters, the QT take on the Dairy Queen Blizzard. The QT Kitchens tasting event included a life-sized milkshake. The kitchens are being put into every QuikTrip in the Wichita area, one-by-one. So far, 20 stores have them up and running. The rest will be ready by the end of the year.
The convenience store chain introduced the kitchens, said Wichita division manager Terry Williams, because it wanted to provide good food for its customers. The company also is looking to fill a financial gap left by declining gasoline and cigarette sales, he said. Samples of the QT Kitchens toasted sandwich with bacon and cheddar. “This is a win for our customers and a win for us,” he said.
One interesting note: Customers order their QT Kitchen items at a touch screen, which then spits out a receipt. They take the receipt to the regular cash register, pay, then go retrieve their food when it’s ready.
During the tasting event, I sampled the much-discussed bacon shake, which was interesting for sure. It mixes soft serve with tiny bits of bacon and has lots of maple flavor. I’m not a big maple fan, but I asked a few colleagues to sample it, and they loved it. If a Strawberry Shake offers to pose for a picture with you, never say no. I also tasted a pretzel with cheese, a slice of pepperoni pizza, a toasted sandwich with bacon and cheese, and a chicken bacon Ranch flatbread with nice, fresh slices of tomato and lettuce.
None of this is food you’d eat if you were watching your calories. It’s all buttery or sweet or melty. But it does taste good, and I could see it being popular with the crowd that already devours QT’s cold sandwiches and tube-shaped foods on the rollers. And the prices are in-line with other fast food places. My flatbread, for example, was $3.99, though the lettuce and tomato cost 69 cents extra.
Want to see a copy of the full menu? Keep reading. You also can find a list of stores where the QT Kitchens are already operating. If you don’t see your neighborhood store on the list, it’s not far behind.