Greg’s Randy’s Bobby & Steve’s Auto World

I drive by this Eden Prairie gas station every day, see the tow trucks bearing the name around town and am constantly puzzled at the idiocy of the name “Randy’s Bobby & Steve’s.”

This isn’t Arkansas after all. In fact, we’re the #1 most literate city in America, damn it.

According to Wikipedia, Bobby Williams and Steve Anderson own and operate eight Mobil gas station locations in the Twin Cities metro. I recognize them now that I see references to the giant red Pegasus signs. But to me, gas is gas and price is king, so knowing who owns the station doesn’t really affect my purchasing decisions.

Wikipedia mentions the renovation of the old Eden Prairie BP station into Randy’s Bobby & Steve’s, but doesn’t tell us who Randy is or why there’s so much brand equity in all three first names OR why the geniuses kept on adding apostrophes.

What if another partner opens a franchise under Randy? Say, for example, me….Greg’s Randy’s Bobby & Steve’s?

Someone has to stop the madness.

The official Bobby & Steve’s Web site has a 27 mb video available for download showing what future renovations will look like and perhaps further insight into the naming strategy, but I can’t seem to open it. Hey Bobby, Steve and Randy, this is why most Web sites use streaming video.

Oh – I just discovered there’s a Jason’s Bobby and Steve’s Auto World in Lino Lakes. Seriously you guys (specifically I’m talking to Bobby, Steve, Randy and Jason) — I want in.

Greg’s Jason’s Randy’s Bobby & Steve’s Auto World — coming to a street corner near you with a giant Pegasus sign (in your face, Super America!).

8 Comments so far

  1. Erica M (unregistered) on December 31st, 2007 @ 11:42 pm

    I had great service from Randy’s Bobby & Steve’s when I discovered a flat tire on my car in the parking lot at work. Called my insurance and they were there to put the spare on within an hour. Drove over on my lunch hour and they had the tire patched and ready to go within 20 minutes. Super nice, too.

    I never by gas there, though. They’re always a good five cents more expensive than other nearby stations.

    But yeah, the naming thing? Weird.

  2. derrikd (unregistered) on January 2nd, 2008 @ 2:40 pm

    Its not that confusing to me. Maybe I am missing something.

    Randy just want credit for owning a Bobby and Steves. Say I bought a McDonalds franchise and I called it Derrik’s McDonalds.

    I am not sure I would brag about owning either, but its the idea.

  3. Erica M (unregistered) on January 2nd, 2008 @ 3:26 pm

    “Bobby & Steve’s” implies ownership already. Bobby & Steve own an Auto World. Why can’t Randy just own an Auto World?

    The McDonald’s analogy breaks down because McDonald’s as a brand is so strong that it doesn’t actually connote that some guy named McDonald owns a burger joint.

    The fact that Bobby & Steve’s Auto World is sometimes a BP and sometimes a Mobil is also confusing. Maybe this one in EP is the only BP.

    Not a total headscratcher, but it ain’t straightforward. I feel like I need to diagram a sentence or something.

    From Wikipedia: “Bobby and Steve’s is partnering with Solomon real Estate Group to redevelop their current BP/Amoco gas station at Eden Prairie as part of a $50 million office-retail development. As part of the development the new Randy Bobby and Steve’s will contain a larger retail space and auto repair bays.” — Interested to see what this Windsor Plaza project ends up looking like. My guess is not a whole lot different from anything on 212 near EPC.

  4. Greg (unregistered) on January 2nd, 2008 @ 3:42 pm

    It’s poor grammatical wording — that’s the point of this post. “Greg’s Bobby & McDonald’s” would still be just as bad because McDonald’s has an apostrophe, too.

    Windsor actually tore down a bunch of old real estate there and will be putting in more retail (chains chains galore!) and office buildings. Basically, that means traffic is going to be worse along 212 than it already is. Hooray.

    Meanwhile, I still buy gas at the cheapest place.

  5. Charles (unregistered) on January 2nd, 2008 @ 4:30 pm

    Didn’t Embers Restaurants (in their heyday) have this same thing going on. They were independently owned, but relied on the Ember’s name to drive traffic. Then the independent owners began putting their name at the top of the sign, so it would say “Dick’s” (in really small print) and then “Embers.” There’s one still operating here in Fridley. I think the killer branding move is making Bobby and Steve’s a trifecta when an independent owner becomes involved.

    It should just be “Randy’s BS.”

  6. noodleman (unregistered) on January 2nd, 2008 @ 4:53 pm

    The bad grammar isn’t only a local thing. Just look at the Ruth’s Chris’ Steak House chain! (And the way Ruth explained it, when she bought Chris’ very popular Steak House [in New Orleans?] many years ago, she didn’t want to lose the cred. Hence, keeping his name while adding hers.)

  7. Erica M (unregistered) on January 2nd, 2008 @ 10:00 pm

    Ruth’s Chris’ Steakhouse is far stupider.

    I like Randy’s BS.

  8. Pete (unregistered) on January 11th, 2008 @ 6:47 am

    Each Bobby and Steve’s Auto World is co-owned by a partner. So in the case of Randy’s Bobby and Steve’s Auto World Randy will own a percentage of the company in that location. This gives each location manager a sense of ownership in their location and provides incentive to attain and maintain higher standards of quality and service than would normally be found in gas stations.

    I think it’s a fantastic idea that Bobby and Steve Williams show so much confidence in their management team they’d add their name to the location.

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