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Eight Tips to Prevent Robbery at Your Truckstop

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


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

Eight Tips to Prevent Robbery at Your Truckstop

As the busiest time of the year in our industry approaches, it is imperative that we keep in mind safety. While we’ve written about retail and shrink preparation, today we are talking about robbery prevention and preparation.

While in general robberies within our industry are few and far between, they do happen. No one can guarantee that a robber will not come into your store. Even in the best operations robberies and thefts will and do take place.  

Keeping the potential of a robbery in mind constantly, especially during the busy season, will help improve the safety of your operation, your customers and your employees.

Data collected over many years within the c-store industry points to some key items you can do to help reduce the possibility of a robbery. Many of these items will also drive your sales and profitability.

Here are eight tips for preventing robbery at your truckstop:

  1. Always have good relations with local law enforcement. Know your local sheriff, state trooper commander and or police chief. Warmly invite patrol officers and other law enforcement members to enjoy your great hospitality and amazing offerings. A warm cup of coffee goes a long way on a cold November night.

  2. Greet every customer that comes into your location. Those looking to do something unfavorable do not want to be noticed. Even employees working outside should be greeting customers as they cross paths. The more greeting, the better the overall safety and sales environment of your operation.

  3. Ensure you have great visibility into your store. Make it easy for customers and law enforcement to easily see what is going on inside your store. This also makes marketing and merchandising sense for potential customers to see a warm and inviting operation within.

  4. Ensure your lights are always burning bright. Replace any dim or out-of-order lighting. Bright lights we can see in the night are always beneficial for safety and sales.

  5. Keep your store inside neat and organized. The easier it is for you to see customers, the easier it is for you to know what is happening within your operation before it begins. Additionally, we all prefer to shop in an environment that is neat and organized, allowing us to feel comfortable to spend freely.

  6. Always keep as little as cash as possible within your cash registers by droping cash as frequently as possible. Also ensure that employees follow your cash drop policy and enforce the policy when they do not. Many organizations prefer when their customers see them making consistent drops. Drop safes are an important part of prevention, ensure you have them.

  7. Get out and about during the shift. When customers see you out in the floor when you are not busy it adds to the security of the operation, as well as signals to the customers you know what is going on. It sends a powerful message when your customers enter your operation and they are greeted by employees working the retail floor.

  8. Do not flash cash openly when moving it from the front of the operational transaction counter to the back office, or vice versa. This policy should also include taking any money to the bank. 


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



Join the conversation! How do you prevent theft at your location? Do you follow any of the policies outlined above? What other tips are we missing?

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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.