It might have been 100 degrees outside, but it was just above freezing inside of Gurnath Singh’s cooler at his Louise Avenue Quik Stop store Thursday afternoon.
He wasn’t in there trying to beat the heat – although it would be the optimal place to do so. In fact, he might have even been sweating a little bit while he was in there. That’s because when the mercury rises, so do his sales.
And that means that he has to keep things stocked and ready for the stream of customers that come flooding in looking for everything from ice to sports drinks to bottled water.
“We sell everything when it’s like this,” said Singh – who has owned the franchise for almost two decades. “Ice, Slurpeees, water. When it’s hot, people want something cold to drink, and we have to make sure that we have that ready for them.”
The National Weather Service issued excessive-heat warnings through Sunday night for most of California. Temperatures here in the Central Valley are expected to eclipse the century mark starting today for seven straight those days. The entire Central Valley – all 450 miles from Redding to Bakersfield – is included in the warning. The peak day for heat in Manteca, Lathrop, and Ripon is expected to be Monday when the temperature is forecast to reach 112 degrees.
Those that are susceptible to heat, like young children and the elderly, are encouraged to stay indoors during the afternoon hours. People that have to go outside are urged to wear wide-brimmed hats and sunscreen and drink lots of water.
Anybody showing signs of heat-related illnesses – exhibited early by signs of confusion, lethargy, dizziness, fatigue or nausea – is encouraged to seek medical attention.
The age-old adage of it being “too hot to cook” might actually be nothing more than a saying for those who can’t wait until it cools down a little bit.
Mountain Mike’s Pizza owner Jeff Liotard said that increased heat doesn’t necessarily mean increased sales. People, he said, are going to place their orders later in the day regardless of the temperature, and during the summer that’s typically after the hottest part of the day has already passed.
“When it’s that hot people don’t want to eat at all,” Liotard said. “When the sun goes down then we start to see our orders pick up and people come in – that’s typical anyway.
“But when it’s hot like that, nobody’s thinking about what they’re going to have for dinner.”