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Customer Service and Cleanliness Drive Sales at Pride Travel Center in Eloy

Posted in: Truckstop Travels

Editor's note: Darren Schulte, NATSO vice president of membership, frequently visits NATSO members to review their locations and offers impactful merchandising and operations improvements. Contact Schulte at or (915) 526-5820 to learn more about the costs and details of this service.


Pride Travel Center in Eloy, Arizona, excels in customer service and speed, which helps this location drive some incredible fuel volumes. In speaking with drivers during my visit, speed and staff are mentioned frequently, and this is critical especially when attempting to compete with more modern or brand new interstate travel centers.


The store is always busy, and the manager, Vickie Watson, does an excellent job inside the store. She has been running the location for 12 years and is a perfect example of a stellar operator who is working with what she has. This is an older location, which was built 25 years ago, but Watson keeps it clean and is doing some neat and innovative things with what she has available to her and the staff. 


One of the things that comes out at Pride is they are open to trying different things.


The example I would like to share is how they had ordered too many eggs for a particular couple of days. Rather than do the traditional thing, which for many of us is to say, ‘Oops, we’ll just order less next time,’ the team decided to create an off-menu homemade egg salad that was a huge hit with customers and a positive sales and margin hit for the location. Within a very short period of time all the excessive eggs had been used. Happy store and happy customers. 


Although they have limited space they are working with it. The have a fun gift section, a great selection of snacks and incredibly clean and orderly restrooms. I was surprised by the number of female customers the location has, specifically the local female customers, and I think the number of female shoppers as well as professional drivers stopping at the location will continue to grow once their pumps and sign packages are redone.


The Pride Eloy location is going to go through a remodel soon. Gasoline pumps and the outside signage package will be done first, which will freshen up the location. Eventually the location will be remodeled as well.  






/// Did you know most weeks can find Darren Schulte, NATSO's Vice President of Membership, visiting a NATSO member truckstop location, spending three to four days, using his merchandising and operations expertise to help them grow their business? Learn about NATSO’s Profitable Retail Review program here.


Photos Credit: Darren Schulte/NATSO

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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.