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Truckstop Travels: NATSO Staff Visits Davis Travel Center

Posted in: Great Ideas, Truckstop Business, Marketing & Retail, Operations, Truckstop Travels

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This summer, NATSO staff visited Davis Travel Center in Stony Creek, Virginia, to learn more about their operations as well as ways NATSO can continue to help independent operators through education, knowledge and training.

Kimberly Roberts, member care specialist, Taryn Brice-Rowland, director of information and systems, and myself met with Davis Travel Center’s Betsy Decker, Bill Decker, John Cary and other staff members at the location. During the visit, we were treated to a tour of the travel center as well as an overview of their operational execution and their vision of past-present-future.

I was really impressed with so many of the key operational drivers that this team has locked down. Fundamental blocking and tackling was taking place throughout the operation, specifically in areas where it makes a difference when looking to improve ROI.

Davis Travel Center caters to independent operators and focuses on curb appeal and solid customer service. They understand who their customer is, they talk with them and using data and feedback from their customers they shrink retail categories that are not driving their business and expand other categories that are.

The location also has top-of-the-line, clean restrooms, which appeal to professional drivers and the traveling public alike. But equally important, when you look behind the scenes, you see very strong execution in areas such as SKU performance management, back-room security, check-in and check-out policies for vendors and inventory shrink control procedures.

The location also has a strong fountain and coffee food cost management. Staff ensures coffee equipment is calibrated and the fountain machine is brixed regularly.

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/// I asked Kimberly to share her thoughts on the visit with readers --

“Owner operators tend to spend more money than company drivers, and Davis Travel Center is capitalizing on it by merchandising a variety of products. They do a great job of displaying everything.

The location recently added a sugar-free, diabetic section in response to driver requests. Their cooler is huge. It goes the entire length of their store--from one of the other. They also have a Subway and a Starbucks.

I was impressed by how efficient the location is. They run it like a top. It is amazing how they keep up with their inventory.” – Kimberly Roberts ///

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The staff at Davis Travel Center is committed to ensuring that the product they put forth is the best there is on I-95. This is an independent operator that is poised to have some phenomenal years ahead. 


Related Content:

Read More About Davis Travel Center on NATSO's Website:

 

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/// Read more Truckstop Travels here.  

Photo Credit: Kimberly Roberts/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 joined NATSO with nearly three decades of experience in truckstop and travel plaza operations and merchandising, most recently as the Vice President for Retail Merchandising for TSC Global/Barjan LLC. Prior to his time with TSC Global/Barjan LLC, Schulte also worked for Petro Stopping Centers and Love’s Travel Stops and Country Stores.