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Route 66 Food n Fuel Joliet Keeps Customers Moving

Posted in: Truckstop Travels

Editor's note: Darren Schulte, NATSO vice president of membership, frequently visits NATSO members to review their locations and offers impactful merchandising and operations improvements. Contact Schulte at dschulte@natso.com or (915) 526-5820 to learn more about the costs and details of this service.

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The Route 66 Food n Fuel location in Joliet, Illinois, is incredibly busy, and it can move through thousands of customers each day, especially during large events at the Chicagoland Speedway, which is adjacent to the location.  

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One Google reviewer wrote, “Fastest fuel stop I’ve ever been to. They have a fuel jockey that keeps the trucks moving. Great food, too.”

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This location does an outstanding job of knowing its customers, which are different than the typical customers at Food n Fuel’s Elwood location, which I wrote about last week. The Joliet location has a large number of more over-the-road professional drivers, but they also see different types of customers depending on the season. For example, during NASCAR season, they have a lot of race fans stopping in.  

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They know food appeals to multiple customer types, and they have a Dunkin Donuts, Pops Italian Beef and Beggar’s Pizza in addition to a robust grab-n-go program with Vienna Hot Dogs. They also have an actual full liquor store. 

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Their fuel islands are a little different than other locations. They have race fuel, propane, DEF on all lanes and E-85.  

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A fun touch at this location is the Blues Brothers theme. Fans of the movie will remember that much of it took place in Joliet. They have a replica of the cruiser there as their sign and Blues Brothers photos inside the location.

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It is definitely a great stop with a wide variety of food, beverages and c-store merchandise that can meet the needs of professional drivers as well as the traveling public. 

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 /// Did you know most weeks can find Darren Schulte, NATSO's Vice President of Membership, visiting a NATSO member truckstop location, spending three to four days, using his merchandising and operations expertise to help them grow their business? Learn about NATSO’s Profitable Retail Review program here.

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Photos 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.