Friendly Service at Stamart Travel Centers

Friendly, familiar faces draw in drivers at all three Stamart Travel Center locations in North Dakota.

“I’ve been with them for 28 years and we have people who have been with us 15 to 20 years. That helps our business,” said Lisa Beach, operations manager for Stamart Travel Centers, which has locations in Fargo, Bismarck and Grand Forks. “The drivers are on the road and they love seeing a familiar face.”

Beach said truckers, especially independent drivers, tend to be loyal and won’t go somewhere else just because the price is lower. “Even if they do because they have to watch their pocketbooks, it seems like they still come back because they enjoy your establishment,” she said.

Beach also credits the variety of food and merchandise offerings at the locations with drawing in customers. They offer grab-and-go chicken and personal-size pizzas, and they make their own turkey and ham wraps and subs. The locations also feature bakery cases. Local bakeries deliver pastries to supplement the in-house sweets Stamart makes, such as raspberry croissants and scones.

“We don’t do any franchising. We’ve always run our own programs and tried to give drivers what they want,” Beach said.

Stamart has its own coffee program and offers iced coffees, espressos and lattes in addition to regular cups of joe. At the Fargo location, Stamart buys specialty treats, such as banana bread and large Rice Krispies treats, from a local coffee shop to sell along with the coffee. The Fargo location, which is larger than the other two, also offers a salad and soup bar.

At all the locations, Stamart offers its Lucky Seven program for its food offerings—after buying six items, the seventh one is free.

Loyalty programs also keep drivers coming in. In addition to taking part in the NATSN loyalty program, Stamart offers Diesel Dollars. “For every 100 gallons they purchase, they get a Stamart Diesel Dollar to spend on anything in our stores,” Beach said. “I Think we’ve grown our business on that more than anything.”

Some drivers spend their Diesel Dollars as they get them and others save them for Christmas shopping. “It is fun because over the years we get to know the drivers and we ask them what they are saving for,” Beach said, adding that Stamart has a variety of gift items, such as waterfalls and art prints.

Stamart also attracts drivers with its monthly promotions. “We pick three or four items just for the truckers and have great deals on them. Right now we’re running the six-month logbooks and a plug in blanket for a good price. We work with Barjan and DAS so we always have something that we can offer them,” Beach said. To promote the specials, Stamart puts posters on each fuel island and has in-store signage.

More than anything, the overall success comes down to the basics, Beach said. “We strive to keep our locations very clean and get our drivers waited on quickly. That keeps them coming back.”

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This article originally ran in Stop Watch magazineStop Watch provides in-depth content to assist NATSO members in improving their travel plaza business operations and provides context on trends and news affecting the industry.

The magazine is mailed to NATSO members bimonthly. If you are a member and not receiving Stop Watchsubmit a request to be added to the mailing list. Not a memberJoin today or submit a request to receive additional information.

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:
Stop Watch Magazine
Retailer Featured:
Stamart Travel Center

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