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These Top Ten Monthly Metrics Will Result in Key Takeaways For Your Truckstop

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


Welcome to the newest post in our blog series, Darren’s Great Ideas! for Independent Operators

These Top Ten Monthly Metrics Will Result in Key Takeaways For Your Truckstop

There are many ratios, key performance indicators, metrics and comparisons that operators should be looking at every month. On the surface, many of these seem complex, but once you start using them, they no longer take on the appearance of being complex or difficult to measure.

There is a veritable alphabet soup of metrics and comparisons operators should look at, including GMROI, GMROII, PTI, NOC, EBITDA, FMPG and ROCE.

Tom Heinz, NATSO’s Chairman of the Board prefers ROCE—Return on Capital Employed—of the many key performance metric and wrote about it in NATSO’s September/October’s Stop Watch magazine. Operators, especially the owners and executives of the operation, should be looking at these and other complex metrics.

There are however less complex metrics that the management team should look at monthly. These monthly metrics, just like the daily metrics I wrote about last month, should be discussed and acted upon if you are going to track them. Whatever metrics you decide to review monthly, must be done without failure and execution of the findings must take place.

Collecting the data as referenced before does not improve your locations profitability, but it does give you actionable takeaways, which can be anything from “good job everyone, we had an exceptional inventory count last month” or “we need to take a look at how we are deploying our labor as it compares to our sales as we continue to overspend based on our budgeted dollars.”

Here are my favorite groupings of simple yet effective monthly metrics.

  1. Gross margin dollar and percent comparison in all categories compared to last year and budget. You may also want to consider looking at fuel profitability as a percent instead of cents per gallon.
  2. Food cost and food cost variation comparison to last year and budget.

  3. Total labor cost [benefits, training, etc.] comparison to last year and budget by profit center.

  4. Controllable and non-controllable expenses compared to last year and budget.

  5. Inventory shrink variation compared to last year and budget.

  6. Comparable sales for all profit centers including shop, QSR, restaurants, etc., as well as to budget.

  7. Profit and revenue dollars comparison for “other income” to last year and budget, includes ATM, video arcade, showers, parking, etc.
  8. Diesel and gasoline gallons compared to last year and to budget.

  9. Fuel margin per gallon compared to last year and to budget.

  10. Total operating expenses divided by total fuel gallons sold.

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



Join the conversation! Every operator has his or her favorite monthly metrics to look at. What are yours?

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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.