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12 Ideas For What To Do With That Tired Truck Lounge

Posted in: Great Ideas, Truckstop Business, Darren's Great Ideas for Independent Operators


Welcome to the newest post in our blog series, Darren’s Great Ideas! for Independent Operators

{Great Ideas} 12 Ideas For What To Do With That Tired Truck Lounge

Are you wondering what to do with that tired truck lounge? Do you have an empty area that used to house a telephone bank that used to drive profitability to your bottom line? Or worse, do you have an arcade room that generates $12 in revenue a day but costs $24 a day to clean?

Tenants could be your answer. I know what you will say—“I have done tenants before in the past and they have failed.” In response I would ask—"Have you really done tenants or did you put in rentals that you thought made sense for your drivers rather than make sense for all your customers?"

Tenants should drive new business to your operation, rather than just take advantage of those customers already shopping your location. Aren’t the demographics of your customers changing? Isn’t the percentage of company drivers to owner operators changing? Many of us have significantly more local customers and interstate customers stopping by our operations then we do over-the-road drivers.

So here are 12 ideas to consider:

  1. Armed forces recruiting station
  2. Flower & gift shop
  3. Gourmet popcorn shop
  4. Embroidered cap and or t-shirt shop
  5. Licensed massage shop or other licensed business such as tax companies, insurance agents, etc.
  6. Vitamin & healthy living shop
  7. Postal annex or shipping/mailing station
  8. Video game store or video rental store
  9. Hispanic or Indian grocery store or a local corner grocery store focused on take home packages, etc.
  10. Dry cleaners
  11. Vacuum repair shop or another type of repair shop
  12. Professional tattoo shop

When it comes to tenants, keep an open mind and do your homework. Your tenants should represent you well in the community, but they should also speak to the larger customer demographic that is stopping and/or shopping your store.


Join the conversation! Have you had any luck with adding tenants? What tenants have worked and what haven't? 

/// Read more Darren's Great Ideas for Independent Operators posts here

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About the Author

Darren Schulte

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. Learn about NATSO's Profitable Retail Review program here.

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.