Stop Watch Articles

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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.

Get Consumers to Travel Through Your Whole Truckstop Store

July 1, 2018

Get Consumers to Travel Through Your Whole Truckstop Store

During the Good to Great Session at NATSO Connect, the other panelists and I shared our thoughts on what drives traffic through a location. What was interesting was that we all had slightly different ideas. That shows how important it is for operators to really understand who their current customers are and, if they are looking to attract different ones, find the solution that is best for that specific location.

A Renewable Fuels Standard Deep Dive from the Alternative Fuels Council

July 1, 2018

A Renewable Fuels Standard Deep Dive from the Alternative Fuels Council

The Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS), which has been in place since 2005, can be a complex issue to untangle and understand.

Politics and Pie During NATSO's Day on the Hill 2018

July 1, 2018

Politics and Pie During NATSO's Day on the Hill 2018

More than 60 NATSO members spent May 16–18 in Washington, D.C., advocating for long-term, sustainable infrastructure funding, an increase to the federal motor fuels taxes, and urging lawmakers to reject proposals that would harm off-highway businesses and communities, such as tolling or commercial rest areas.

Nominate an Industry Leader for the NATSO Hall of Fame Award

July 1, 2018

Nominate an Industry Leader for the NATSO Hall of Fame Award

NATSO is currently accepting nominations for the Hall of Fame award and is inviting all members to nominate their peers who have a long history of supporting the truckstop and travel plaza industry, their employees and their communities.

Three Ways Truckstop Operators Are Using Partnerships to Grow Business

July 1, 2018

Three Ways Truckstop Operators Are Using Partnerships to Grow Business

More and more retailers are joining together to form creative partnerships, which allows them to reach customers in new ways and spur sales. When brands join forces, it can help them create a better in-store customer experience and make a more memorable impression on customers.

Truckstop Floor Layout Best Practices [Infographic]

July 1, 2018

Truckstop Floor Layout Best Practices [Infographic]

Creating the right flow through a truckstop and travel plaza can draw customers deeper into the location and help increase sales.

Truckstop Operators Use Varied Food and Offerings to Appeal to Travelers and Locals

July 1, 2018

Truckstop Operators Use Varied Food and Offerings to Appeal to Travelers and Locals

Wendi Powell, co-owner of Big Boys Truck Stop in Kenley, North Carolina, knows that travel centers need to be all things to all people, and she tries to create solutions that appeal to all types of customers, whether they are locals, the traveling public or professional drivers. “The more creatively we can make the mix work, the better for us,” Powell said. Although convenience and time are always important, local customers love favorites while travelers like experiences. “It's my goal to create a mix,” Powell said. At Busy Bee, a regional chain of travel centers in Florida, local customers are in the store weekly and form close relationships with the locations and teams. “We see them coming in to not only to fill up their cars, but also meet daily/weekly needs from grocery items to our locally made cakes,” said Elizabeth Waring, president of Busy Bee. “However, with our traveling guests the needs slightly vary. When they stop in at our facility, they are there to fill a more immediate need. We have tried to build those relationships so that as they travel they look to us first to fill that—or empty that.”

Taking the NATSO Foundation's Pulse

July 1, 2018

Taking the NATSO Foundation's Pulse

As we cross into the second half of the year, now is a great time to stop and reflect on all that the NATSO Foundation is doing in 2018 to help advance the educational needs of the truckstop and travel plaza industry.

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.

Everything is Extra Nice at Danny's Big Rig Resort

May 1, 2018

Everything is Extra Nice at Danny's Big Rig Resort

If you are wondering if Danny’s Big Rig Resort in Phoenix, Arizona, is a truckstop or a resort, the answer is both. “It is a truckstop for owner operators with money. If you’re trying to get something for a discounted price, this isn’t the right spot,” explains the owner, Vicki Hendon.

Expand Your Truckstop's Labor Pool with Non-Traditional Hires

May 1, 2018

Expand Your Truckstop's Labor Pool with Non-Traditional Hires

Finding and retaining employees is often a top concern of truckstop and travel plaza operators, and it can become even more challenging when unemployment levels drop.

Get to Know Female Leaders in the Truckstop Industry

May 1, 2018

Get to Know Female Leaders in the Truckstop Industry

The truckstop and travel plaza industry is full of outstanding operators who continually make life easier for their customers. Throughout 2018, Stop Watch would like to highlight a handful of the women who make the industry great.

Maximizing the Path to Purchase at Your Truckstop with Beverages

May 1, 2018

Maximizing the Path to Purchase at Your Truckstop with Beverages

Beverages are big business for the nation’s truckstops and travel plazas. During NATSO Connect, Stephanie Kowitz, senior manager of shopper Insights for The Coca-Cola Co., said beverages are the No. 1 reason for a trip to the store and account for more than one in four trips.

Boost Sales and Reward Customers with Loyalty Programs at Your Truckstop

May 1, 2018

Boost Sales and Reward Customers with Loyalty Programs at Your Truckstop

Repeat customers are extremely valuable to businesses, and when done right, loyalty programs can draw in shoppers while also boosting sales for the location. That creates a win/win situation for customers as well as the businesses they frequent.

Decrease Shrink to Increase Profitability at Your Truckstop [Infographic]

May 1, 2018

Decrease Shrink to Increase Profitability at Your Truckstop [Infographic]

Retail losses can add up to big bucks for operators, and any net operating cost improvement plan should include a robust plan to manage retail and cost shrink.

The Omnibus Spending Bill: Reading the Fine Print for Truckstops

May 1, 2018

The Omnibus Spending Bill: Reading the Fine Print for Truckstops

In late March, Congress passed and President Trump signed a massive $1.3 trillion spending bill. The 2,232-page piece of legislation contained a plethora of policy changes that are important to fuel marketers. There were also a number of policy changes that were not included in the legislation that would have impacted the marketing community.

Strategic Plans Help Us Stay Focused And Move Forward

May 1, 2018

Strategic Plans Help Us Stay Focused And Move Forward

As an association, NATSO is tasked with bringing value to our members and our partners, and to ensure we continue to do that, NATSO’s board of directors and staff have been working together on the association’s long-term strategic plan.

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.

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