Great Ideas Articles

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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.

Operators Share Three Sources for Great Ideas during NATSO Connect

February 11, 2018

Operators Share Three Sources for Great Ideas during NATSO Connect

In today’s retail landscape, truckstop and travel plaza operators are not only competing with each other, but also with other highly competent retailers, making innovation even more important. During NATSO Connect, operators came together in The Great Ideas! Session to 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 work for them.

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.

Add Fidget Spinners to Your Truckstop

September 1, 2017

Add Fidget Spinners to Your Truckstop

Fidget spinners have taken the world by storm, and Cash Magic Truck Plaza and Casino, which operated 22 locations in Louisiana is cashing in on the trend. The company originall put a box of 36 in each of its stores right on the checkout counter and sold out within a couple of days.

Pop-Up Fitting Room

June 30, 2017

Pop-Up Fitting Room

Target has developed a fitting room that could be placed in an existing space or built-in as part of new construction.

Great Idea: Add Eclectic Items to Your Truckstop Buffet

March 1, 2017

Great Idea: Add Eclectic Items to Your Truckstop Buffet

After concluding that drivers are tired of eating the same foods everywhere, L.G. Truckers City dba TA Wapakoneta in Wapakoneta, Ohio, started putting unusual meat products on its buffet. Items include duck in orange sauce, lamb, frog legs and pastisio, which is a Greek lasagna.

Great Idea in Action: New Employee Buttons

January 1, 2017

Great Idea in Action: New Employee Buttons

To help take some of the stress off of new cashiers and set customers’ expectations, Wade has new hires wear big yellow buttons that say, “Be patient. I am in training.”

Great Idea in Action: Bobby Bucks

January 1, 2017

Great Idea in Action: Bobby Bucks

White’s Petro Stopping Center in Raphine, Virginia, has its own currency—Bobby Bucks.

Great Idea in Action: We Pump Wednesday

January 1, 2017

Great Idea in Action: We Pump Wednesday

During lunch on Wednesdays at the truckstops of Miller Oil Co. in Norfolk, Virgina, customers are treated to the unusual luxury of having their fuel pumped.

Wawa Great Idea: Coffee and Cream and Sugar Stations

August 31, 2016

Wawa Great Idea: Coffee and Cream and Sugar Stations

Wawa coffee is a proprietary, private-label blend available only at Wawa stores. Wawa’s coffee station includes at least eight different varieties. In 2010 they changed their coffee from glass pots to thermals, and in 2012, Wawa began offering a full-service specialty beverage area where customers can order hand-made varieties of lattes, hot chocolates and more via touch screens. Since the year 2000, Wawa has served more than one billion cups of coffee.

Petro Dodge City #397's Great Idea: Historic Outhouse

June 30, 2016

Petro Dodge City #397's Great Idea: Historic Outhouse

One of the ways Petro Dodge City #397 in Hanceville, Alabama, sets itself apart from its competition is by having an historic outhouse in its truckstop.

Where: Fuel King Napoleon Travel Center - Great Idea: Clothing Donation Dropoff

May 1, 2016

Where: Fuel King Napoleon Travel Center - Great Idea: Clothing Donation Dropoff

At their location in Napoleon, Ohio, owners Jack and Paul Grewal had heard from drivers looking to donate jackets at the end of the season so they could avoid hauling them around for an entire year. The drivers didn’t want to simply throw away the jackets, and the Grewals wanted to help facilitate drivers’ generosity.

Lancaster Travel Plaza, LLC's Great Idea: Solar Panel Farm

March 1, 2016

Lancaster Travel Plaza, LLC's Great Idea: Solar Panel Farm

Using federal and state grants, Lancaster Travel Plaza in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, added a solar panel farm to greatly reduce their energy bill. It will take six to seven years to recoup the cost of the equipment. After that, their electricity needs will be completely supported by the solar farm. Adding the solar farm took about four to five months. It involved applying for the grants, working with their electric company, getting approval from the town and installing the panels.

Where: White Petro Stopping Center

January 1, 2016

Where: White Petro Stopping Center

In the fall of 2015 White’s Petro Stopping Center in Raphine, Virginia, added a number of new amenities including a pharmacy. Owner Bobby Berkstresser first began thinking about adding the pharmacy when they added a doctors’ clinic in 2012.

Great Ideas from Sapp Bros.

January 1, 2016

Great Ideas from Sapp Bros.

As the editor of Stop Watch, I attended the tour to gather the locations’ best ideas to share with Stop Watch readers. The first day of the tour was spent at two Sapp Bros.’ locations, which I’ll share about.

Dedicated Pump for Rv Traffic at Anew Travel Center

November 1, 2015

Dedicated Pump for Rv Traffic at Anew Travel Center

Anew Travel Center, which is located in Zeeland, Michigan, is a family-ownedand-operated company with more than 65 years in the transportation industry. The Meeuwsen family decided to build their truckstop in 2013 to offer renewable energy sources, including ethanol and biodiesel blends, to end consumers.

Great Ideas in Action at Donna's Travel Center

June 30, 2015

Great Ideas in Action at Donna's Travel Center

In 2013, Donna’s Travel Center in Marysville, Washington, added a Coca-Cola Freestyle machine that allows customers to choose from more than 40 Coca-Cola products to create their own special drink.

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