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See How Shell UPA! Travel Plaza Invites Customers Inside

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 or (915) 526-5820 to learn more about the costs and details of this service.

Shell UPA!-Outside of BldgJI.jpg

We stopped at a Shell UPA! when we were in Chile during one of our NATSO International Study Tours. I think there are a lot of lessons NATSO members can take away from the location. 

The entrance to the location is open and welcoming, plus they’ve added seating, encouraging guests to stay and enjoy their food. 

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I loved the playground and grassy area where travelers with children could let their little ones burn off some energy. The playground also created a nice atmosphere. 

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The signage outside helped draw customers inside.

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Once inside, there was plenty of seating and several different food offerings. 

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The c-store was well lit, had calming colors and a nice display of food, snacks and drinks.

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The location also had a drive-thru window for added convenience for those on the go.  

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I always love to see how different locations take the standard c-store and travel plaza offerings and make them their own, and this is another example of a business doing the ordinary extraordinarily well.  

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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.


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.