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What You Missed in the Biz Brief This Week: August 27, 2014

Posted in: Industry Trends & News

In today’s information-overloaded business world, we often find ourselves deluged with literally hundreds of news items from dozens of sources. While it is likely impossible to read every article and remain productive, by not doing so we risk missing the one article that could change a key business practice or thought process. And that is where the NATSO Foundation’s publication, Biz Brief, provides assistance! The NATSO Foundation's Biz Brief is a daily collection of the most relevant business intelligence for truckstop and travel plaza operators. 

While we think the Biz Brief is a must-read every day, if you only read ten news articles this week, these ten most-clicked Biz Brief articles are the ten to read. 

  1. Restaurant Punishes Servers For Credit Card Fees 
    The state of Minnesota recently increased its minimum wage to $8 per hour. Restaurant operators are scrambling to find ways to offset the new costs. One operator has decided to transfer some costs to provide its business relief. This restaurant is now deducting the transaction fee on meals paid for by credit card from the servers tip income. One employee disagrees with the policy, "It's their choice to accept credit cards, and the customers' choice to pay with them. It's not up to me." Click here to read more >

  2. Which Fast Food Chains Average $2 Million Per Store? 
    Only seven of the top 50 quick-serve restaurant chains tout average store sales of $2 million per year. From highest average store sales to lowest, they are: Chick-fil-A, Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, McDonald's, Panera Bread, Jason's Deli, Chipotle and Whataburger. Chick-fil-A averages $2.85 million in per-store annual sales. The numbers reflect 2013 sales levels. Click here to read more >

  3. Iowa 80 Truckstop Features Array of Services 
    The "World's Largest Truckstop" on Interstate 80 in Walcott, Iowa, provides a collection of service offerings as large as its parking lot. The Iowa 80 Truckstop provides everything that any interstate traveler could need. Some of the many services include the Iowa 80 Kitchen restaurant along with a gift shop, “Super Truck Showroom,” chiropractor and dentist offices, barber shop, workout room, laundry facilities, small movie theater, TV lounge for truck drivers, private showers, food court, convenience store, fuel center, truck service center and truck wash. If that's not wide-ranging enough, the location also provides a pet wash. Iowa 80 is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. Click here to read more >
  4. Natural Gas Grows Slowly as Truck Fuel 
    Currently, natural gas used as transportation fuel makes up only 0.1 percent of total U.S. consumption. Eighteen months ago, transportation in California alone was using half that amount. According to a recent report, most states use less than 2 million cubic feet per month, and 11 states consume no natural gas for transportation. The economic grounds for using natural gas as a transportation fuel look positive at first sight, but on closer study initial capital costs and concerns about longer-term price competitiveness are coupling with a still limited refueling infrastructure to deter widespread investment. Click here to read more >

  5. TA/Petro Technicians Win Competition 
    Service technicians representing TravelCenters of America have won honors in two state competitions. Three technicians from TA Truck Service facilities throughout Georgia finished in the top three spots, beating out 37 other competitors in the Georgia State SuperTech Skills Competitions. Additionally, a Petro:Lube technician took first place in the Ohio Statee SuperTech Skills Competition, outscoring 17 other technicians. “I couldn’t be more proud of our techs who took part in, and won, these competitions,” shared Tom O’Brien, President and CEO of TravelCenters. Click here to read more >

  6. Trucker Blog Article Discounts Truck Stop Parking 
    A recent blog, on trucker-blog.com, addresses the issue of safe parking for truckers. The article, which speaks about the "dwindling spaces across the country," focuses little on the nation's largest provider of truck parking, truck stops and travel centers. The blog discusses the lack of wide shoulders, rest area truck parking and industrial zone parking. The piece mentions weigh stations as an alternative, but complains about the "lack of shower facilities, clean restrooms, and amenities in these areas. Truck stop and travel center parking continues to be the largest source of available spaces for truckers and it is growing every month. Click here to read more >

  7. 186 MPH Freight Trains 
    To more effectively compete in the global marketplace, China is planning a network of high-speed freight trains capable of traveling at 300 kilometers per hour (186 MPH). The country also is planning a class of lower speed freight trains capable of traveling at 100 MPH. The trains, which are scheduled to be operational next year, will compete heavily with trucks and air cargo haulers for freight. Click here to read more >

  8. Industry Member Wins Car With Hole-In-One 
    John Randle, an employee of CAT Scale Company in Walcott, Iowa, participated in the Iowa 80 Trucking Museum’s Golf Tournament Aug. 11 in spectacular fashion. Randle managed a hole-in-one on a par three hole at the Glynn’s Creek Golf Course. The reward for his feat was a free two-year lease on a new car. Randle has been playing golf for 20 years and has scored two previous holes-in-one. Click here to read more >

  9. Convenience Store Moves to Cash Only Lottery Purchases 
    QuikTrip Corp., which operates 700 convenience stores, has decided to no longer allow credit or debit card purchases of lottery tickets. The decision was a financial, rather than security, one. In most states, retailers earn roughly 5 percent on the sale of a lottery ticket. At the same time, credit card transaction fees normally total 4 percent leaving very little margin on the sale of the tickets. QuikTrip confirmed that the majority of its lottery sales have historically been purchased with cash. Click here to read more >
     
  10. Diesel Refineries Planned for Bakken Area 
    Quantum Energy Corp.of Williston, N.D., announced plans to construct several separate refineries to distill shale oil crude into diesel. The company recently signed a letter of intent to acquire property in Baker, N.D., for proposed construction of a 20,000 barrel per day. Quantum also is considering sites in Billings, Mont., Fairview, N.D., and Minot, N.D. MDU Resources also currently is building a refinery in Dickinson, N.D. Click here to read more >


I might be biased, but I think if you aren't receiving Biz Brief, you are missing out! Not a subscriber? Be sure to submit a request to be added to the email list. Already receive it and have feedback for me? Be sure to email me at editor@natso.com.

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About the Author

Roger Cole

Roger Cole

Roger Cole serves as edior of the NATSO Foundation's Biz Brief. The Biz Brief is a daily e-newsletter created to provide readers with business intelligence tailored specifically for truckstop and travel plaza owners and operators. Cole shifts through hundreds of news sources daily, selects the most relevant and timely news and then editorially distills it into a must-read briefing.