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How to Promote a Truckstop Grand Opening or Reopening

Posted in: 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

How to Promote a Truckstop Grand Opening or Reopening

Whether you’re opening a new business or holding a grand reopening, you’ll want to engage the public and the media.

You only get one chance to get a grand opening or reopening right. These events allow your operation to create the customer expectation and experience from this point forward. It is during these events that you can highlight features and benefits of your operation that can be challenging during normal operating hours.

During these events you can highlight new programs, procedures and products with your excited staff and paying customers. If you are blessed to have a strong local base of potential customers, now is the time to set the stage that they, like all your customers, are VIP and clearly highlight the benefits and features to them.

Here are seven tips to make the most of your event.

  1. Include the community and invite them to the ribbon cutting ceremony. You may also want to consider having an invitation-only dinner for members of the community or offering some opening specials for the community.

  2. Create an event in conjunction with your opening. Not only will you generate more traffic by having an additional event, such as a blood drive, Girl Scout Cookie sale or child identification registration, you’ll increase the odds that your location becomes a destination in the future.
  3. Offer some fuel savings opportunities to local fleets and/or regular customers during the grand opening week. Let them know about the promotion via an e-mail blast.
  4. If you have a fleet card or a loyalty card, give away three times the points or something similar.
  5. Offer door buster savings or buy-one-get-one-free opportunities to help get people in the door.
  6. Offer a free fill of gasoline (with a set maximum of gallons) with the purchase of a coffee, donuts etc. Giving away gas creates loyalty and a memorable experience and drives your inside sales.
  7. Create a one-day sale around the event, such as 20 percent off the lowest ticketed price.
  8. Hold a friends and family event with a special meal for family members. Create a reason for people to eat in the restaurant.

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



Join the conversation! Have you held a grand reopening? What other tools did you use to promote your launch?

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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.