Buc-ee's, the travel center with a larger-than-life reputation, has steadily built a devoted following of customers trying to avoid wasting money on the road.
However, beyond the sparkling bathrooms and friendly employee smiles, there are intriguing secrets that Buc-ee's employees want you to know.
They might even make you an even bigger fan of the beaver than you were before.
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You can snag free samples
Buc-ee's employees are known for providing food samples to customers upon request, which means you don’t have to spend the money to determine whether you’ll like something.
You may even stumble across an employee offering a tasty treat. They know first-hand how good the food is, so don’t be surprised if you try, then buy.
Buc-ee’s doesn’t sell Pepsi products
While Buc-ee's has an extensive beverage selection, you won't find Pepsi products on their shelves; the store has an exclusive contract with Coca-Cola.
Note that this agreement went into place all the way back in 1997, long before Buc-ee’s was a roadside juggernaut.
Will that change in the future? It’s not likely, given their reputation for loyalty, but it’s also not impossible.
Workers train extensively to master the brisket techniques
Employees undergo extensive training to ensure the barbecue offerings are prepared entirely by the book, maintaining the store's reputation for drool-worthy meats.
That includes smoking it low and slow, slicing it on a carving table in-store, and announcing "Fresh hot brisket on the board!" every few minutes.
Then they sauce the brisket dramatically before putting it onto a sandwich. It’s a whole show.
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Be prepared for spontaneous customer photo shoots
While Buc-ee's is first and foremost a stop for weary and hungry travelers, it's a fun place to take pictures on special occasions for some.
Some high schoolers stopped in for a prom photo shoot on at least one occasion, dressed to the nines in formal wear.
Another couple decided it was the perfect destination for a romantic photo escapade. Who knew posing with Beaver Nuggets was so relatable?
Buc-ee's hires employees just to clean the bathrooms
When it comes to cleanliness, Buc-ee's isn't lying when they say they’ve set a new standard. Their bathrooms have earned the Cintas title of "Cleanest Restrooms in America" — and rightfully so.
You might not know just how hard employees work to maintain those spotless facilities to make your pit stop a pleasant experience.
In fact, some Buc-ee’s workers are hired to do only that, day in and day out.
Buc-ee's is huge… really, really huge
Anyone who’s seen a Buc-ee’s from behind a car window can tell you that their stores are giant. However, the true scale of some of these outlets requires a bit of fact-finding.
For years the biggest Buc-ee’s was in New Braunfels, Texas, and spanned a whopping 66,335 square feet.
However, a recent addition to the chain’s growing family of stores has clinched the new title: the Sevierville, Tennessee location is 74,000 square feet total!
It’s obvious who first-time visitors are
For first-time visitors, Buc-ee's can be something of a revelation. Its colossal size, seemingly endless selection of items, and buzzing atmosphere often leave newbies agape.
Imagine folks walking around with eyes wide, marveling at the endless selection of seemingly everything, and commenting that the roadside bathrooms aren’t neglected.
You can imagine this is an amusing sight if it’s just where you work every day.
They hire a lot of employees
You’ve probably noticed a lot of staffers on the floor when you stop at a Buc-ee’s, more than you might see at a different travel center or convenience store.
As it turns out, a single Buc-ee’s location can have as many as 250 individual employees! Given that the average (and likely) smaller gas station has about eleven, that’s a huge difference.
You can make good money at Buc-ee's
Buc-ee's takes care of its employees, offering wages higher than industry standards. The company broadcasts this proudly on signs at all locations, paying far more than minimum wage in many cases.
If you’re promoted into management, you can stand to do exceptionally well for yourself; managers are paid over $70,000 per year.
And in corporate, you might make over an impressive $200,000 annually.
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The selection of foods is staggering
Buc-ee's is a paradise for food lovers, something employees know well. There are entire walls dedicated to salty snacks, taffy, and gummy candy.
Perhaps you prefer a healthy option? Dig into bins of beef jerky or end caps stocked with fresh fruit.
They also offer prepared hot foods like Reuben sandwiches and breakfast tacos. Don’t forget to grab a jar of pickled quail eggs on the way out. And for dessert, you can take your pick from 24 flavors of fudge.
Some of the foods have a cult following
Some foods at Buc-ee's have achieved cult status thanks to their addictive flavors and good quality.
For example, any employee can tell you that Beaver Nuggets are one of the most popular treats, thanks to their sweet and salty crunchiness. But don’t sleep on Buc-ee’s barbecue sandwiches.
While food critics may point out that you can get better from down-home mom-and-pop shops, Buc-ee’s serves up arguably the best in the travel center ecosystem. Try one and see.
The beverage selection is impressive
Quenching your thirst at Buc-ee's is an adventure in itself, with a massive selection of beverages ranging from classic colas to ICEEs to Buc-ee’s exclusives like cherry lime soda.
You can also find any number of standard canned and bottled beverages, running the gamut from energy drinks to beers to a decent selection of wine.
They’re a coffee lover’s paradise
Coffee lovers will be delighted to discover the wonders of Buc-ee's coffee stations.
The store stocks an impressive array, including heavy cream, whip cream, and assorted flavored sweeteners to customize your perfect cup of joe.
The coffee is hot and delicious, thanks to the fact that there’s a dedicated employee who tends to the coffee station. They may even make a fresh pot for you if you’re there long enough.
There is probably more merch than you expect
Beyond the endless snacks and convenience items, Buc-ee's sells an impressive array of branded merchandise and souvenirs.
From quirky apparel to fun trinkets, you can leave with new items to profess your Buc-ee's love when you’re at home.
You can also find fun seasonal gifts on the higher end, which can surprise new visitors. Don’t forget the impressive selection of kid’s toys, either.
Pro tip: If you're going to buy merchandise then you may want to use a credit card that enables you to earn rewards, like cash back, in order to save as much as you can.
If you pull up in a semi-truck, you’ll be asked to leave
Despite their enormous footprints and parking lots, Buc-ee's stores don't accommodate 18-wheel trucks.
They say this policy allows for smoother traffic flow and ensures a more comfortable experience for customers driving standard vehicles.
While many truckers take umbrage at being excluded, Buc-ee’s employees will indeed tell you to leave if you pull up in a rig. They don’t make the rules; they just have to enforce them. Sorry.
You're being watched... a lot
If you step inside a Buc-ee’s, know you are being watched in every corner of the store. For one, employees will have their eyes on customers, naturally.
However, each Buc-ee’s location is also outfitted with a surprising number of high-tech security cameras. One Houston store had over 200 installed.
Add to that the fact that managers can watch the activity from their phones, so you can enjoy a pretty secure environment while you're keeping more money in your wallet.
Buc-ee's is more than just a convenience store; it's an experience that leaves an impact on visitors and helps you keep more money in your pocket.
But just because Buc-ee’s is a chain doesn’t mean the customer and employee experience will be the same at every location. Each has its local nuance and flavor, and the people are very much a part of that.