LA CROSSE, WIS — Area shoppers are about to experience a new level of convenience as two popular chains have collaborated to offer a new amenity to customers with young children.
Kwik Trip and Festival Foods will soon be rolling out The Hot Tot Spot, a combination of Kwik Trip’s popular Hot Spot and Festival Foods’ Tot Spot.
“We know that many people in the area get their gas at Kwik Trip and do their grocery shopping at Festival Foods. A collaboration seemed like a natural fit and a great way to capture more of the market,” a Kwik Trip Spokesperson said. “We’re very excited about this new offering and hope parents will just check out, I mean check it out.”
Like the old Hot Spot, the new Hot Tot Spot will be featured front and center, just inside the main doors of Kwik Trip stores. Parents will be able to quickly identify the area and easily deposit their young children on a food service tray.
One Kwik Trip employee dedicated to staffing the Hot Tot Spot will then affix a small date and time label to each child before transferring the batch of fresh children to the Hot Spot warming racks, where they will be spritzed every two hours or upon parental pick up. Customers will be allowed to drop off only one child per visit, but Tuesdays and Thursdays will feature a two-for-one child special with the additional purchase of any two regular Hot Spot items or one pack of Glazers doughnuts.
The spokesperson also teased a Hot Tot Spot loyalty punch card system, similar to Kwik Trip’s current Rewards program or past milk punch card program, but said plans are “preliminary, nothing concrete yet.”
Festival Foods is also enthusiastic about the new collaborative endeavor.
“We’re confident parents will love this new and improved service. Convenience, quality care, mediocre snacks, and high-sodium children all rolled into one great spot while parents can shop uninterrupted and care-free. It’s what I call a win-win-win-win-win. Parents benefit, we benefit, our staff members benefit, children benefit, and Kwik Trip benefits,” the grocery store’s spokesperson said. “Oh, and the food industry benefits, too, so that’s a sixth win, actually.”
Festival indicated that the Festival Foods’ Tot Spot will also be renamed to the Hot Tot Spot, but daily operations will remain mostly the same. However, the child supervision area will now feature grab-and-go food items such as roller dogs, cheese curds, pizza slices, Gerber puffs, and baby food pouches. There will also be a toddler-friendly condiments/baby supplies bar featuring the usual large pump-bottles of ketchup, mustard, and relish and also hot soup vats of liquid Infants’ Tylenol, large pump bottles of diaper rash cream, and blankets kept warm under a heat lamp.
The grocery store also indicated the possibility of future expansion plans for the Hot Tot Spot concept but declined to share specifics, saying only that they involve a very large boomerang, an app, delivery, and children.
La Crosse resident Lizzy Reningen, frequent Festival Foods and Kwik Trip patron and mother of three, is looking forward to trying the Hot Tot Spot as soon as she can.
“I love that I can just drop my kid off for an hour or five while I run errands. And that hot liquid Tylenol vat is perfect. Now I can just ladle a single amount into a small Styrofoam soup bowl, cover that bad boy with a plastic lid, and I’m good to go. My kid will be out in minutes. So convenient!”
Reporter Greg Lovell contributed to this article.