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How Sapp Bros. is Excelling in Customer Service

Posted in: Truckstop Business, Truckstop Travels


During our travels to independent operators, Lisa Mullings, NATSO’s President & CEO, and I were fortunate to spend a couple of quality days with Sapp Bros.

If we are noticing a trend in most of the locations we visit, including those travel center locations in Chile where NATSO travel center members enjoyed firsthand insight into COPEC’s operational excellence, rest rooms are king, and Sapp Bros. does not disappoint, specifically in Nebraska City.



There are so many different, thoughtful and exciting things happening in each of the Sapp Bros. locations we visited, three of them to be exact, you could write a novel. The guest experience is on the top of every leader’s mind and it more than trickles down to all team members, regardless of profit center.

Each of the profit centers does an exceptional job understanding who their customer is. While there are certainly consistent marketing, merchandising and corporate programs in each of the locations, the charm and success of each operation lies in their strong understanding of the demographic of their location. Ask a manager and or leader of the organization and they will quickly tell you the differences in customers’ shopping habits, length of stay and so on for each location. They get it and it shows in their customers’ purchasing and buying habits. Shout out to director of merchandising  Jeff Ryan!

For example, location X has significantly more female customers who like to shop their store. Location Y has significant number of owner operators who still enjoy beautifying their trucks and having the latest electronics and then Location W sees a mixed demographic that is made up of local, interstate, over-the-road and business professionals.

Each location, with keen direction from leadership, understands that their locations cannot be everything to all customers, but they can be exactly what is needed for those customers that shop, buy and visit with them on a regular and profitable basis.

And by the way, did I mention those restrooms in Nebraska City?











/// 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.