EGG HARBOR TOWNSHIP — Tatjana Petreska believes Royal Farms will be better than Wawa, even though this was her first time in one.

“I heard they had good chicken and good customer service. I hope they’re here longer and they do well,” said Petreska, of Egg Harbor Township.

Royal Farms held a soft opening for its new location Wednesday. The gas station and convenience store at Fire and Tilton roads is one of nearly 200 Royal Farms on the East Coast. While the chain is primarily popular in Virginia, Delaware, Maryland and D.C., the company is expanding gradually into New Jersey. A developer has proposed building a Royal Farms in Absecon.

About 50 employees will work at the Egg Harbor Township site, Operations Leader Ralph DeSantis said.

“We have a variety of everything and the best fast-food fried chicken,” said DeSantis. “We make subs, chicken salads, smoothies, milkshakes and coffee.”

Chris and Christy Wagner, of Egg Harbor Township, have not been to Royal Farms previously but said the new location will bring healthy competition for the popular Wawa.

Pat Christopher, of Egg Harbor Township, said he likes having different options besides Wawa, which dominates southern New Jersey and eastern Pennsylvania and even parts of Florida. He believes competition is a good thing and looks forward to Royal Farms’ coffee and Krispy Kreme donuts.

“I want to know what everybody is talking about and how good the chicken really is,” said Hector Padilla, of Egg Harbor Township. “I think Wawa is convenient and good, but I’m ready to try their (Royal Farms) product. I want to see the difference.”

DeSantis expected nearly 300 people to visit the store during its two-day soft opening.

Local residents were informed about the soft opening through social media and by driving past the store, which advertised a countdown to opening. They will also have a rewards program that will offer perks to customers, like buying a sixth item of something and getting the seventh free.

The new store will officially open all of its services and products at midnight Sunday.