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Take a Virtual Tour of Clark Oil

Posted in: Truckstop Travels

Clark Oil is an excellent example of an operator running a successful location. Clark Oil has its roots in the convenience store industry, so it is no surprise that they focus on speed and can move people in and out of the truckstop quickly.

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Five Things Truckstop Operators Need to Know About Renewable Fuels

Posted in: Fuel and Trucking, Biodiesel

For more than a decade, the federal Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program has required fuel refiners and importers to incorporate an increasing volume of renewable fuel annually. For truckstop and travel plaza operators, the standard can create several benefits.

Here are the top things operators need to know about the Renewable Fuels Standard.

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Keep Customers Moving at Your Truckstop with Speedy Service

Posted in: Truckstop Business, Operations

Speed-of-service is a top factor for the majority of customers today at retail establishments, but especially at truckstops, travel plazas and c-stores.

There are several things operators can do to speed transactions and improve the flow of customers.

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Nine Ways to Improve Safety in the Truck Repair Business

Safety is one of the most important aspects of a truck repair business, both in the shop and at roadside. Owners and managers must do everything they can to ensure their employees go home safely at the end of the day.

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Six Secrets Truckstop Operators Can Learn from Costco’s Success

Posted in: Truckstop Business, Marketing & Retail

NATSO members often look at the best practices of their fellow operators, but it is important to also look at the entire retail, food and fueling landscape. One of the continuing shining stars in today's current retail environment is Costco. While much of today’s retail landscape is driven by the growth and convenience of e-commerce, Costco is continuing to thrive. Here are six key ingredients that contribute to the retailer’s winning recipe of success.

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Join Me Abroad to Take in New Great Ideas and the Latest Innovations

Posted in: Truckstop Business, Leadership & Strategy

I am a strong advocate for learning all we can from those around us, and I would love for NATSO members to join me in June at the NACS Convenience Summit Europe.

Along with retailers from around the world, I’ll be working my way through London and Amsterdam and will gather ideas and trends to share with truckstop and travel plaza operators when I return.

The tours, which are led by convenience industry experts, are designed to provide a closer look into retail operations and solutions and a deep dive into discussion-based learning.

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4 Best Practices for Long-Term Truckstop Hiring Success

Posted in: Truckstop Business, Human Resources

Truckstops and travel plaza facilities create unique challenges for those who manage them. Unlike many businesses, most truckstops and travel plazas are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and managers must work hard to keep the facility adequately staffed at all times.

A location’s team players are the first and last line of contact for customers in a truckstop and travel plaza, so hiring and training the right team players can significantly affect the profitability of the business. With proper orientation and training, operators can ensure from the very beginning that their team players will succeed.

Here are four tips for long-term hiring success.

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How to Use Billboards to Drive Your Travel Center's Profits Up

Posted in: Truckstop Business, Marketing & Retail

Next time you drive down the Interstate to your facility, look at your signage from the point-of-view of a customer who is visiting for the very first time. Signage is a crucial piece of your business as it serves as an invitation for a customer to stop into your site versus your competitors’ sites!

Interstate billboards give you exposure to large numbers of travelers every day and night. I believe that this is one of the most effective forms of advertising.

Billboard Pricing and ROI
Billboards range in price. Small non-illuminated units may cost $150 to $350 per month. Large illuminated billboards can range from $1,500 to $4,000 per month or more depending on traffic counts and several other factors such as the number of units available in the market, demand for those units and if it is a left- or right-hand read...

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3 Tips to Help You Find the Right Biodiesel Blend

Posted in: Fuel and Trucking, Biodiesel

Warmer temps are right around the corner.

And that’s the time of year many travel plazas, truck stops and fleets start thinking about the amount of biodiesel that’s blended into their petroleum diesel.

It’s one of the most common questions biodiesel producers and suppliers are asked: What’s the right blend for me?

It’s an important question, and below I offer three tips to help you answer it.

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Five Retail Trends Your Truckstop Should Be Adapting to and Exercises to Explore Them

Posted in: Truckstop Business, Marketing & Retail

In preparation for NATSO Connect, I took a fresh look at the trends influencing the industry. Truckstops and travel plazas should be adapting to each of these trends.

Number 1: Rise of Experiential Retail
According to the article, “The old model of in-store (and even online) retail strictly focused on products being sold. However, consumers have slowly but surely been moving away from strictly shopping for products, instead seeking a more engaging experience”.

The trend was originally driven by younger consumers and their preference for experiences over price and product, however that no longer just the case. Young and old are less likely to spend money in places where the experience is poor regardless of how great the prices are. There is a growing feeling that my money is worth something and if I plan on spending it better be a worthwhile experience.

“Even so, simply remodeling a store isn’t enough,” the article continues. Nearly 5,000 stores closed in 2018 and some experts believe another 4,000 are expected to close their doors in 2019, and “the brands that do survive will have done so by creating engrossing experiences”.

What Should You Do:

Get a pencil and pad of paper.
Identify your three busiest diesel fuel gallon times and days.
Schedule an extra employee on these days.
Create a mini menu for breakfast and lunch of grab-n-go foods.
During these identified times, the extra employee armed with proper safety gear should ask drivers while they are fueling if they can get them anything to eat and drink such as a breakfast burrito and coffee and or a PBJ with chips and milk.
This will create a positive experience.

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