Great Ideas

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NATSO Has the Staff to Help You Navigate and Win the Truckstop Business

May 30, 2019

NATSO Has the Staff to Help You Navigate and Win the Truckstop Business

NATSO now has an even deeper bench of experienced staff who have a proven record of boosting the bottom line of travel plaza and truckstop operators. These industry leaders have knowledge and expertise in a multitude of areas to assist NATSO members in maximizing their operations and profitability.

The Tennessean Travel Stop Adds an Outdoor Ice Cream Shop

May 1, 2019

The Tennessean Travel Stop Adds an Outdoor Ice Cream Shop

The Tennessean Travel Stop in Cornersville, Tenn., recently opened an ice cream shop with outdoor access. It offers a menu of staple shakes and ice cream along with specialty flavors. The ice cream shop can be accessed from a window outside the location.

Local Favorites on the Go

March 1, 2019

Local Favorites on the Go

Sometimes the best ideas come from outside the industry.

13 Great Ideas from NATSO Connect

November 1, 2018

13 Great Ideas from NATSO Connect

In this issue of Stop Watch, we’re featuring not one, but 13 outstanding ideas operators have shared. Operators shared their insights and best practices during the Great Ideas! Session at NATSO Connect 2018. The annual meeting is one of the highlights of NATSO’s annual gathering, and operators were able to swap ideas and learn more about what is working for their peers, get inspiration from both inside and outside of the industry and think through how they can adapt ideas to make them work for them. While ideas filled the room, here are 13 that stood out.

November 1, 2018

Golden Oil focused on Food and Cleanliness

Paul Bhardwaj, CEO and founder of Golden Oil, which operates four truckstops and is in the process of building its fifth, has been in the truckstop industry for more than 30 years. During that time, he has seen amenities and driver preferences change, and the locations do a fantastic job of staying current and remaining relevant.

Host a Driver Event Like Shell Rotella SuperRigs

September 1, 2018

Host a Driver Event Like Shell Rotella SuperRigs

White’s Travel Plaza hosted the 36th annual Shell Rotella SuperRigs event in June. White’s, which is owned by NATSO member Bobby Berkstresser and located on I-81 in Raphine, Virginia, is always a popular location, and when you add a spectacular event like the Shell Big Rigs, it becomes even more of a draw.

Bowlin Travel Centers Has Been Offering All the THINGS for More Than 100 Years

September 1, 2018

Bowlin Travel Centers Has Been Offering All the THINGS for More Than 100 Years

Bowlin Travel Centers, headquartered in Albuquerque, New Mexico, has been serving the traveling public in the Southwest for more than 100 years. Today the travel center company is led by President and CEO Michael Bowlin and has grown considerably since it started as a single-store operation in New Mexico.

Quicklee's Travel Center is Off to a Great Start

July 1, 2018

Quicklee's Travel Center is Off to a Great Start

Quicklee’s Travel Center in Avon, New York, was founded by Peter Bruckel, Quicklee’s president and managing member. Bruckel started in the petroleum industry in 1995 when he opened a gas station on land adjacent to his industrial bridge painting company.

Pride Stores Excels at Social Media

July 1, 2018

Pride Stores Excels at Social Media

Pride Stores LLC, headquartered in Springfield, Massachusetts, put an extra emphasis on its online presence by hiring a social media manager. After almost two years, Chris Szarek has grown the company’s digital profile by strategically using Google business tools, Facebook and more.

Try Putting Your Manager’s Office in the Middle of Your Truckstop

May 1, 2018

Try Putting Your Manager’s Office in the Middle of Your Truckstop

Home Service Oil Co., doing business as Express Mart, St. Louis, Missouri, has their managers’ “offices” in the center of its convenience stores.

Finding and Fostering Great Ideas with NATSO

March 1, 2018

Finding and Fostering Great Ideas with NATSO

As both consumers and business owners and many of us have seen that the pace of change is accelerating. Technology is changing, the retail experience is changing and our customers are changing. That means we must observe the trends and innovate to remain relevant. Finding and applying great ideas has become so important, especially as our pool of competitors has grown. We’re not just competing with other truckstops for both customers and staff, we’re competing with every retail outlet.

Guthrie Travel Center Uses Movable Placards for Signage Excellence

March 1, 2018

Guthrie Travel Center Uses Movable Placards for Signage Excellence

If you look over Guthrie Travel Center in Guthrie, Oklahoma, from left to right—from the cooler to the coffee area—you’d see they’ve done a nice job highlighting their offerings with signage and that includes the movable placards over their coolers.

Berkstresser Honored with NATSO Hall of Fame Award

March 1, 2018

Berkstresser Honored with NATSO Hall of Fame Award

When Bobby Berkstresser got started in the truckstop industry 36 years ago, he had never pumped fuel before and hadn’t planned to become one of the largest employers in his town. Instead, he was looking for a garage for his towing service. The owner of Lee Hi was getting ready to close the location and called and asked Berkstresser if he’d like to buy it.

Highlights from NATSO Connect 2018

March 1, 2018

Highlights from NATSO Connect 2018

At NATSO Connect 2018, hundreds of innovative, senior-level truckstop operators and industry partners came together to connect. For two-and-a-half days, this collaborative group

Creativity and Innovation Lead the Way at Mach 1

January 1, 2018

Creativity and Innovation Lead the Way at Mach 1

At Mach 1 innovation is key, and Alan Meyer, chief operations officer for the company, said he is always willing to try something new, even if it ultimately fails.

Spur Impulse Buys with the Right Product Placement and Mix at Your Truckstop

January 1, 2018

Spur Impulse Buys with the Right Product Placement and Mix at Your Truckstop

Everyone is starved for times these days, but customers at truckstops and travel plazas are in even more of a hurry than most. They are looking to get in and out of the location quickly and aren’t hanging around to shop. That means last-minute purchases are a key component of truckstop and travel plaza sales. There are several ways store operators can drive impulse buys.

Boost Sales, Build a Brand and Grow Traffic with a Remodel

January 1, 2018

Boost Sales, Build a Brand and Grow Traffic with a Remodel

About two years ago Mike Sibley, president of LaPlace Travel Center, had to remodel the Huddle House restaurant at his location as part of his contract. Following the restaurant renovation, the location saw a 15 to 20 percent sustained increase in sales, which made him realize what a worthwhile investment a remodel or renovation can be.

Great Ideas in Action at Frog City Travel Plaza & Casino, Shreveport, La

November 1, 2017

Great Ideas in Action at Frog City Travel Plaza & Casino, Shreveport, La

During a recent remodel, the Frog City Travel Plaza & Casino in Shreveport, Louisiana, added a giant ceiling fan to reduce power bills. “I saw one when I was gathering ideas for our remodel and knew it would be a good fit for our space,” said Greg Barro, owner.

Giant Lollipops and Much, Much More at Busy Bee

November 1, 2017

Giant Lollipops and Much, Much More at Busy Bee

Busy Bee is headquartered in Madison, Florida, and includes two truckstops and 16 convenience stores located primarily in Florida. Busy Bee #14 in Jasper, Florida, has ten full-time employees and a leased Huddle House. Busy Bee #25 in Live Oaks, Florida, is a bustling 22,000 square feet.

Truckstop Operators Fill The Room with Great Ideas at NATSO's Conference

November 1, 2017

Truckstop Operators Fill The Room with Great Ideas at NATSO's Conference

The sharing took place during the Great Ideas! for Independent Operators Workshop during The NATSO Show 2017, and operators tackled everything from food service to point-of-sale technology.

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