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NATSO Blog: September 2016

Truckstop Travels: Clearwater Petro Speaks to All the Senses

Posted in: Truckstop Business, Marketing & Retail, Truckstop Travels

Wendy Johnson, vice president of operations for Clearwater Travel Plaza, and her team operate one fantastic travel center! The independent Petro franchise location, which is located northwest of Minneapolis and is owned by Joel Nelson, is filled with the traditional travel center amenities and products. Even better, this location also indulges all the senses. Your ears, your eyes and your sense of smell are treated to a smorgasbord of delights. My favorites are the hand-crafted sandwiches, the amazingly tasty homemade breads of many fanciful flavors and the exceptional bakery products.

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Four Ways to Make the Most of End Caps at Your Truckstop

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

End caps are prime real estate within a truckstop and they need to say “Bam, buy me!”

To maximize the effectiveness of end caps, make sure they:

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How to Proceed When an Employee Candidate Discloses an Injury Requiring Months of Rehab

Posted in: Truckstop Business, Human Resources

How to Proceed When an Employee Candidate Discloses an Injury Requiring Months of Rehab

Today Federated Insurance is sharing one of our “HR Questions of the Month” regarding employment-related practices liability issues.

Question: Our firm is in the process of interviewing candidates for an associate position. We have held phone interviews with several candidates and selected some of them for in-person interviews. One of the candidates selected for an in person interview has shared the following information with us: Thank you for confirming. Before we meet, I'd like to disclose a recent injury. Approximately 3 weeks ago while playing recreational basketball, I suffered a ruptured Achilles and subsequently had surgery performed. I have been using PTO from work since the injury and will be on doctor ordered leave for at least the next week or two. An Achilles rupture is a very serious injury and I will be facing anywhere from 4-6 months of rehab going forward. The description of the position seems like such a great opportunity that I didn't want to pass up the offer for a phone interview. I hope this will not hinder the process but I wanted to make sure you knew my situation up front. We have mentioned to all candidates that we seek to have the new position filled in the next 4 weeks. If the person is on medical leave, I'm not sure they will be able to come in to our office for an interview. How would you suggest we handle this situation?

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Driving the Fight Against Human Trafficking

Posted in: Leadership & Strategy

When industry works together, we can make a difference in the fight against human trafficking.

That was the message on Sept. 1 in San Antonio, Texas, where I had the opportunity to participate in a press conference hosted by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton to announce that Texas law enforcement, the trucking industry and truckstops are coordinating ways to combat human trafficking within the state.

The press conference kicked off a meeting designed to educate participants about human trafficking as well as to provide a forum to discuss regional human trafficking trends. More than 60 members of the law enforcement, trucking and truckstop communities participated in the event.

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See What The NATSO Show is About [Video]

Posted in: Truckstop Business, The NATSO Show, Leadership & Strategy

Watch a video to see what The NATSO Show is about.

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How to See Your Truckstop with Fresh Eyes

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

We all know that curb appeal is important, and now new surveys show that two thirds of customers will not come into your operation if the curb appeal is not positive and inviting.

But often times, we need to look at our locations with fresh eyes and see our operation in the same way a customer does.

The next time you pull into your truckstop or travel plaza, pretend you’re a customer stopping for the first time. Take a good look at your location for these things.

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6 Telltale Signs That Your Job Postings Are Terrible (And How to Fix Them)

Posted in: Truckstop Business, Human Resources

If you haven’t been impressed with the caliber of job candidates that have been inquiring about your jobs, the first thing you should do is evaluate your job postings. If you don’t believe it, just try scrolling through a job board and reading some of the generic, boring, and uninspiring listings that are out there. It’s not easy to spot the ones that you’d apply to versus those that sound awful.

To do some job description soul searching, start by making sure your listings don’t fall into the following categories.

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Ten More Great Ideas from The NATSO Show

Posted in: Truckstop Business, The NATSO Show

Operators who attended the Great Ideas Session at The NATSO Show 2016 know the workshop was a flurry of activity. Independent truckstop and travel plaza operators joined together to inspire each other with their latest ideas. Dozens of ideas were flowing back and forth.

We have already shared 10 great ideas that came out of the conference. Now here are 10 more.

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Seven Tips for Selling at Your Truckstop's Transaction Counter

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

Your transaction counter is one of the most important touch points that you have in your operation.

It is frequently the first and last thing your customers see upon entering and leaving your operation. It is valuable and every single truckstop and travel plaza should treat it as premium space.

Here are seven thoughts to consider when choosing what to put in that space.

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