Marketing & Retail

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Rebranding Success on Hat Six Travel Center

January 1, 2017

Rebranding Success on Hat Six Travel Center

Hat Six Travel Center, based in Evansville, Wyoming, has embraced the local flair, capitalized on convenience and identified three distinct customer bases, which is boosting sales and driving loyalty.

NATSO Foundation Launches Park My Truck Mobile App

January 1, 2017

NATSO Foundation Launches Park My Truck Mobile App

On Oct. 3, the NATSO Foundation launched the mobile app Park My Truck, a new highway safety initiative to help professional drivers find available truck parking.

Truckstop Travels

January 1, 2017

Truckstop Travels

Darren Schulte, NATSO vice president of membership, frequently visits NATSO members to review their locations and offers impactful merchandising and operational improvements. He periodically shares stories about the great retailers he visits on the blog. Here is snap shot of just a few.

Silver's Travel Center Hits The Mark With A Re-Branding

November 1, 2016

Silver's Travel Center Hits The Mark With A Re-Branding

When Silver’s Travel Center rebranded its c-store location by franchising with On The Run by Circle K, it brought a new atmosphere to the store and led to a 15 percent increase in sales, which is particularly impressive because it is a down market.

7 Ways To Improve Your Truckstop's Grab-And-Go Food Safety

November 1, 2016

7 Ways To Improve Your Truckstop's Grab-And-Go Food Safety

Sales of grab-and-go foods are on the rise. In response, truckstop and travel plazas are increasing their hot and cold quick-serve items. To maintain safety, it is important for locations to choose the right items to add to their cases and follow certain handling procedures for preparing and holding food.

Attract New Truckstop Customers to Boost Sales

November 1, 2016

Attract New Truckstop Customers to Boost Sales

In today’s market, truckstops and travel plazas are facing increased competition on several fronts. Restaurants and retailers are adding fuel as well and charging stations for electric vehicles, and convenience stores are rolling out amazing grab-and-go food programs. At the same time, improved fuel mileage on ve¬hicles means customers don’t have to stop as often for fuel. In response, operators are stepping up their efforts to attract new customers while also increasing the conversion rate of fuel customers, getting them to come into the store.

8 Ways to Maximize Slow Times at Your Truckstop

August 31, 2016

8 Ways to Maximize Slow Times at Your Truckstop

Even the busiest locations experience slow times of the day, and operators said they use those slow periods to prepare for peak times and get creative to boost business during traditionally slow times.

Food From the Best at Columbus West

June 30, 2016

Food From the Best at Columbus West

In the 11 years since it opened, Columbus West Travel Center in Columbus, Wisconsin, has grown from a convenience store to a full-service truckstop. “It started out as a convenience store and then as truck traffic increased, it was converted over to a truckstop by adding seven die­sel fueling positions, three showers, laundry, game room, lounge, Arby’s restaurant and hot food, prepared on site,” said owner Richard Sheard.

Increase Sales at Your Truckstop With A Strong Retail Program

June 30, 2016

Increase Sales at Your Truckstop With A Strong Retail Program

All truckstop operators are working to get customers in the door and to the cash register, and a well-planned retail strategy can do just that. Yet all too often, business owners are trying to be everything to everybody, which can do more harm than good.

From Milkshakes to Motocycles: Truckstop Operators Get Creative in Their Parking Lots

May 1, 2016

From Milkshakes to Motocycles: Truckstop Operators Get Creative in Their Parking Lots

In today’s operating environment, truckstop and travel plaza operators are working to appeal to a wide range of customers. Several NATSO members are changing the way they use space within their parking lots, turning extra space into innovative profit centers.

Food Service is About More Than Food

May 1, 2016

Food Service is About More Than Food

When it comes to food service, today’s consumers are looking for much more than food. By tapping into their customers’ true needs and wants, truckstop and travel plaza operators can attract more people and dig deeper into their wallets when they come in the door.

7 Ways Shoemaker’s Travel Center Builds A Strong Brand

March 1, 2016

7 Ways Shoemaker’s Travel Center Builds A Strong Brand

Situated an hour Southeast of Omaha, Nebraska, Shoemaker’s Travel Center has all the ordinary truckstop profit centers—restaurant, store, fuel/gas and truck repair shop—but they are far from ordinary. In fact, they have become a tourist attraction for Lincoln. During the study tour, owner Dave Shoemaker shared what makes them unique. From the Highway 6 branding seen throughout the truckstop to their low-flow toilets, their strong branding makes a big impact on the customer experience. Count the ways with me.

15 Consumer Trends Shaping Retail Operations Today And in the Future from Coca Cola [Infographic]

March 1, 2016

15 Consumer Trends Shaping Retail Operations Today And in the Future from Coca Cola [Infographic]

Being in the retail business, consumer trends greatly shape the truckstop and travel plaza business. During NATSO’s fall board meeting, Coca-Cola shared these key consumer trends. Truckstop operators should read them and take note on how they will impact their business—both today and five years from now.

The Connected Truckstop: Growing sales with an online presence

September 1, 2015

The Connected Truckstop: Growing sales with an online presence

Smartphones provide on-the-go access for travelers and professional drivers no matter where they are.

Cookies and Rice Crispies at Pine Cone Travel Plaza

June 30, 2015

Cookies and Rice Crispies at Pine Cone Travel Plaza

For four decades Jim Glover has owned Pine Cone Restaurant in Johnson Creek, Wisconsin. In late 1990, he also bought Pine Cone Travel Plaza.

Customization + Variety = The Future of Truckstop Beverage Sales

June 30, 2015

Customization + Variety = The Future of Truckstop Beverage Sales

From traditional and craft sodas to coconut water to energy drinks, today’s consumers have more choices than ever when selecting a beverage, and the number of drinks competing for cooler space is expected to grow

Truckstop and Travel Plaza Operators Find Ways to Boost Food Service

June 30, 2015

Truckstop and Travel Plaza Operators Find Ways to Boost Food Service

Food service is becoming a more important component of the overall sales at truckstops and travel plazas, and today’s customers are demanding greater quality and convenience in the food they purchase.

Bob and Nick Wollenman of Deluxe Truck Stop Present at Chamber of Commerce Event

June 3, 2015

Bob and Nick Wollenman of Deluxe Truck Stop Present at Chamber of Commerce Event

Bob Wollenman, co-owner, and Nick Wollenman, assistant general manager, of Deluxe Truck Stop, St. Joseph, Mo., were presenters at the "Cup of Joe" St. Joseph, Mo. Chamber of Commerce event, May 27th. This is a weekly event that gathers entreprenuers, small and large business owners, civic leaders and other interested individuals.

Five Tips for Attracting Hispanic Consumers to Your Restaurant

March 1, 2015

Five Tips for Attracting Hispanic Consumers to Your Restaurant

Not only are Hispanics the nation’s largest minority group, they are the fastest growing, according to a 2012 report by the research firm Nielsen. As this segment continues to grow, so will its impact on retailers. The research firm Technomic reported that by 2060, Hispanics are expected to comprise 31 percent of Americans. Hispanic Americans are a fast-changing population in terms of both demographics and in their needs and desires as consumers, Technomic reported. To stay relevant, retailers, particularly foodservice operators, need to stay current on the expectations of this market segment.

Are Your Truckstop Customers Buyers Or Shoppers

March 1, 2015

Are Your Truckstop Customers Buyers Or Shoppers

The majority of customers walk into a store either knowing exactly what they want or planning to look around. For retailers, that means they have two distinct customer types they need to cater to—shoppers and buyers. By understanding each group, truckstop operators can improve customer service, strategize promotions and improve their marketing, all of which can add up to increased profits.

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