What are the little things you do to improve the appearance of your location?

What are the little things you do to improve the appearance of your location?

"The little things end up being big things and retail is detail. When I or my managers pull into our parking lot and our feet hit the pavement, we come into our location looking at it like a customer would. Does it look right, is the parking lot clean, are the floors clean, are the windows clean? That is our mentality.

Our outside appearance is the first thing our customers see. We have a couple of maintenance guys who work seven days a week and go curb to curb and make sure our parking lot is swept up and cleaned up. We also have maintenance staff that details the inside.

We walk around and look at the lighting to see if there are bulbs that are burned out. A lot of times you have to look up and you might notice that your return air vents or ceiling tiles need to be cleaned. We also pay attention to how we present any marketing or signage. We make sure any signage we use is printed and put in the right frames or displays. It is the little touches that our customers appreciate."
— Ray Newton Rochelle Travel Plaza

"We have a full-time maintenance staff, which we call facility attendants. We have them on the inside and outside of the building and have at least two on during a shift.

We also have a monthly safety inspection meeting with our managers. Each of us takes a different inspection checklist and we inspect that area. We rotate the areas we take. We look for little things — are the floors clean, walls clean, is there a noticeable odor.

All the inspections get turned in to me. I review them and then distribute them to the appropriate manager. I also encourage everyone to pick up any trash they see on the floor when walking around the facility. Leading by example makes a huge difference."
— Tristen Griffith Sacramento 49er

"We constantly strive to have a clean appearance at our location. We have two full-time housekeepers who maintain the interior and exterior of our store location. This includes sweeping the drive, wiping the pumps, cleaning restrooms/showers, stocking shelves, mopping and vacuuming, etc. This allows our desk attendants the opportunity to take care of the customers exclusively.

In our wash bays, we have clean and bright days, as well as daily operations by our wash attendants that keep the appearance in tip-top shape.

We are constantly receiving comments from new, as well as existing customers, about how clean we keep our location."
— Nick Wollenman Deluxe Truck Stop

"I make it a non-negotiable practice in our location for everyone to always pick up things that are on the ground inside and outside that belong in the trash. We habitually pick up anything that we wouldn’t leave

in our own space. As a result, customers and other employees see us doing this and they “pay it forward” by helping out, too.

We take pride in the cleanliness of our facility; we want our customers to understand that our pride in the facility and its surroundings, make it a better environment for them."
— Deanne Schatz-Eisenschenk Petro Fargo & Schatz Crossroads Truck Stop


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.

Amy Toner's photo

Amy Toner

Toner markets NATSO products, services and meetings. She is the content editor of NATSO's core websites, Stop Watch magazine and Highway Business Matters biweekly articles. In addition, she provides creative services across all departments. Toner joined NATSO in 2006. Prior to joining the association, she served as director of membership services at an association for ambulatory surgery centers. Toner lives in Washington, D.C., with her husband and son. More
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