A Day in the Life of a Truckstop Operator: Tristen Griffith

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As industry suppliers, you know that understanding your customers can help you meet their needs. While no two days are ever exactly the same for truckstop and travel plaza operators, Highway Business Matters sat down with Tristen Griffith, President and General Manager of the Sacramento 49er Travel Plaza in Sacramento, Calif., to get a sneak peak into her day. Griffith is overseeing multiple profit centers and is always on the move and she is also doing it as a working mom. Here is what a typical day is like for her:

Since having my son, I work Monday through Thursday from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Fortunately I have wonderful managers in each department that allow me this schedule. 

While approaching the plaza each morning, my eyes scan the premises looking for anything out of the ordinary. I circle the lot and take notes if needed.

I observe the floors, the surroundings, the people and guest encounters when walking to my office. I follow up on any notes or findings. I turn on my computer and record fuel levels and look at the market to see if I will need to make a quick move on purchasing. I determine my margins to determine if I need to make a price change. I have a brief phone call with my tanker to discuss the market and confirm potential pull points. I then sift through emails and respond as necessary, check and return missed calls from my voicemail, and address the constant phone calls or knocks on my office door. 

I walk through the various departments, speak to employees and managers and end in accounting to pick up my mail and have a brief exchange with my office manager.

Lunchtime varies. I may invite an employee to lunch, join some of the managers or just eat in my office while I work. I enjoy inviting an employee to lunch as it is a great time to find out what is REALLY going on. Some share more than others, but my goal is for him or her to get to feel comfortable reaching out to me and for me to learn some "great ideas" and hopefully implement. I also may conduct server evaluations while dining to ensure that all are consistent in delivering Sacramento 49er and Silver Skillet's level of service. 

After lunch I either have meetings with vendors, review financials, prepare and/or conduct manager meetings, follow up on board requests, safety/inspections, or work on never-ending projects.

Emails, phone calls, employees, guests, vendors, spreadsheets and financials are always a continuous work in progress.

{HBMHighway Business Matters is a brief semi-monthly newsletter created exclusively for companies that provide products or services to the truckstop and travel plaza industry. Highway Business Matters will keep you informed on trends, tactics, and tips to help you connect to the $65 billion truckstop and travel plaza industry. 

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Mindy Long's photo

Mindy Long

Before launching a full-time freelance career, Long edited NATSO's Stop Watch magazine. Prior to that Long worked as a staff reporter for Transport Topics, a weekly trade newspaper, covering freight transportation, fuel and environmental issues. In addition to covering the transportation sector, Long has written, reported and edited for a variety of media outlets. She was the Washington correspondent for WCAX-TV (CBS) in Burlington, Vt., a criminal court reporter in Chicago and a freelance copy editor for Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine in Washington D.C. Long hold a master’s degree from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism in Evanston, Ill., and a bachelor’s degree in Communications from Westminster College in Salt Lake City.More
Source:
Highway Business Matters (HBM)
Retailer Featured:
Sacramento 49er Travel Plaza

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