Three Things Your Customers Want From You for Christmas


Adults and children alike draft up wish lists at Christmas, and those in the truckstop industry are no different. Highway Business Matters talked with independent truckstop operators that serve on NATSO’s board to learn more about what they’d like to get from industry suppliers, both for their business and for the industry.

Suppliers often have a broad, industry-wide view that can benefit operators. “You may be able to have suppliers provide for individual truckstops news as to sales in various part of the country and his market area,” said Fred Kirschner, owner of Scranton Petro, Haverford, Pa., and an at-large director on NATSO’s board.

Bobby Berkstresser, owner of Lee Hi Travel Plaza in Lexington, Va. and NATSO’s chairman elect, said suppliers can also help operators determine what their inventory turns should be and identify labor trends. “There is so much information that could be available to help that independent be stronger. What I see over and over is that so many independents are good people and they work hard, but they don’t know what they should do.”

As chairman, Berkstresser wants to involve more suppliers. “I am going to hit everybody up to be part of the solution and help educate everyone,” he said.

Innovative Products
Operators said they are constantly on the lookout for new products to feature in their stores. “There are people that use the highways and they use it constantly, which means they see the same things. There needs to be a churn of items,” said Kirschner. “It doesn’t have to be the newest of the new, but there has to be variety.”

A Partnership
Operators don’t just want products from their suppliers, they want solutions. Delia Moon Meier, senior vice president of Iowa 80 Group and an at-large director on NATSO’s board, said, “I appreciate it when our suppliers are looking for ways to help us increase sales with new products or promotions or suggestions about how we could do things better for our customers. We want our suppliers to do well and be successful because that means that we are also doing well.”

Delia also values suppliers that are active in NATSO. “It shows commitment and concern for their customers and it is a great opportunity to build relationships,” she said.

{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
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Retailer Featured:
Iowa 80 GroupLee Hi Travel PlazaScranton Petro

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