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Fill Up on Southern Hospitality at St. Rose Travel Center

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 dschulte@natso.com or (915) 526-5820 to learn more about the costs and details of this service.

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While roaming around St. Rose Travel Center, there is a good chance you’ll run into Miss Pat, which tells you everything you need to know about the Southern hospitality that you’ll find at this location in St. Rose, Louisiana. The minute you walk in the door you get a wonderful warm feeling. They greet customers with a smile and they know most of their people by name. Whether you’re a repeat visitor or stopping in for the first time, you feel welcome.

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I’m always touting the benefit of knowing your customer, and St. Rose Travel Center, which is also a Roady’s location, has done just that. The location features a casino in addition to the travel center, and St. Rose understands different guests have different needs.

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Most of the traffic at the location is local—they are situated off of a state highway and most of the customers are there to visit the casino or fuel up. 

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Some customers stop in just to go to the casino and will never venture into the travel center. For those guests, St. Rose has created a full-service restaurant within the casino as well as quick-service restaurants. 

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For customers that are on the go and need something quick, the travel center offers a robust grab-and-go food program as well as a strong coffee program. 

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The travel center also features a bistro, which they created when they paired down the travel center’s full-service restaurant. The bistro has a limited menu with casual dining.

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St. Rose is located near an airport, and the quick-serve offerings and easily accessible fueling islands also help the location capture travelers as they fuel up their rent-a-cars as they head back to the airport. 

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Knowing the different types of customers works well for the location, and enables them to capture sales for each category, improve customer service and grow the bottom line, which is something every location strives for. 

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/// Did you know most weeks you can find me visiting a NATSO member truckstop location, spending three to four days, using my merchandising and operations expertise to help them grow their business? I periodically share about those great retailers I visit here on the blog. Read more Truckstop Travels here.   

Photo 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.