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One Dozen Ideas to Reduce Shrink at Your Truckstop Immediately

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


Welcome to the newest post in our blog series, Darren’s Great Ideas! for Independent Operators. The author, Darren Schulte, NATSO’s vice president of membership, brings to NATSO a wealth of knowledge about our industry.

Join Darren here every other Thursday for his biweekly retail column.

{Great Ideas} One Dozen Ideas to Reduce Shrink at Your Truckstop Immediately

Cash loss, food loss and product loss, better known as shrink, are historically highest at this time of year.

However, you will not find out the impact of the loss until you perform your cost and retail audits. Many retailers in our industry will perform an audit in January; consequently, they will not know the financial impact until then. 

Don't wait until after your audit results to take action. Below are a dozen things you can do immediately to reduce your shrink loss. Remember, paperwork errors typically account for 1% to 2% of your variation, customers 5% to 7%, vendors 7% to 10% and employees a whopping 80% to 90%. A busy, happy employee is usually less of an issue.

  1. Have an employee appreciation event like a friends and family sales event.
  2. Do a daily cash audit on every shift.
  3. Have managers approve refunds, over rings and employee meals.
  4. Make it mandatory to greet every customer.
  5. Check-in vendors one at a time, allowing only one vendor at a time to be in your store.
  6. Do trash checks.
  7. Use clear trash bags.
  8. Catch someone on your security system doing something GOOD. Compliment them in front of others. They know you review them.
  9. Do not let employees wait on or ring family or friends up.
  10. Track your entire food waste.
  11. Spot check measured food portions.
  12. Calibrate coffee and brix your fountain. 


Editor’s Note: Schulte is teaching a bonus workshop on Wednesday morning of The NATSO Show on shrink management. Attendees will learn more actionable take-home ideas to immediately improve their shrink loss and will leave with an actual shrink management plan to use as a building block for their own. - AT

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

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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.