What Is The One Operational Thing You Check Every Day?

“I review a pro forma matrix daily. Basically it's a set of metrics (sales, estimated profit/ loss, pool margins, estimated expenses, transactions, etc.) used to measure and manage our stores, consisting of previous day sales data and is compiled monthly. This daily pro forma allows us to keep our finger on the pulse of the business. Some of the data is used for the labor matrix we are developing. The monthly compilation gives us an estimated EBITDA prior to our monthly financial reports being issued. There is nothing unique about either 'matrix' as they are just Excel spreadsheets."
- Chris Heinz, Coffee Cup Fuel Stops & Convenience Stores Inc. 

I check to be sure we have a good inventory of bags of ice to sell every day. It is one of our most profitable items and we sell a lot of them, especially on a big weekend. We’ve already bought the machine to bag our own ice, so it is a sunk cost.”
- Brian Couch, Donna’s Travel Plaza 

The first thing I check every day would be the fuel prices and margins. After checking fuel prices and gallons sold in last 24 hours, I will walk into store and check to see everything is in order while getting a cup of coffee. I also have a talk with some of the driver regulars. I make sure my cleaning person has the area and bathrooms cleaned. I ask my fuel managers if they had any problems and make sure everything is working normally. Then I go to my other truckstop and do the same thing. Finally, I go into my office to see my secretaries and resolve any questions or issues before sitting down at my desk to go over my paperwork.”
- Richard Tullo, Tullo Truck Stop LLC



This article originally ran in Stop Watch magazineStop Watch provides in-depth content to assist NATSO members in improving their travel plaza business operations.

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Darren Schulte's photo

Darren Schulte

Darren Schulte serves as Vice President of Membership at NATSO. In this role, he directs recruitment, retention and customer service for truckstop and travel plaza members. He is also responsible for developing NATSO products and programs, particularly those relating to education, research and training for truckstop and travel plaza operators. Schulte also leads NATSO's Profitable Retail Review program. A Profitable Retail Review is a custom assessment of your truckstop, including recommendations for every aspect of your facility, from actionable ideas to improve revenue to tactical ways to improve your net operating costs. Schulte joined NATSO with nearly three decades of experience in truckstop and travel plaza operations and merchandising. Schulte has worked for: Love's Travel Stops and Country Stores, HESS Corporation, Petro Stopping Centers, and TSC Global/Barjan LLC.More
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