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What You Missed in the Biz Brief This Week: March 19, 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 newest 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. Iowa 80 to Host 35th Walcott Truckers Jamboree 
    Thirty-five years ago, the Iowa 80 Truckstop hosted a small cookout with live music and a few antique trucks to thank its professional driver customers. In 2013, the Walcott Truckers Jamboree served more than 42,000 people in Walcott, Iowa. The company continues the tradition for the 35th time this year, with live concerts, an Iowa pork chop cookout, a truck beauty show, several fireworks shows and a 50th birthday celebration for the Iowa 80. Click here to read more >

  2. TA Opens Montana Country Pride Restaurant 
    TravelCenters of America opened its first full-service Country Pride Restaurant in Montana. The 110-seat food service operation is located at Exit 96 on Interstate 90 in Missoula. The company acquired the facility and renovated and opened the travel center in January. The restaurant also underwent extensive remodeling. Click here to read more >

  3. The Challenge of Merchandise Returns 
    While most businesses have customer satisfaction as a primary objective, that satisfaction must come at a reasonable cost. Merchandise returns create a challenge for those somewhat competing goals. Retailers are faced with issues such as fraud, out-of-date product, missing parts and damaged goods in their quest to provide a competitive advantage through their customer-friendly return policies. Recent analysis of return costs show that the expense, including product repackaging and reshipping, amounts to 8.1 percent of total sales. This article explores ways to reduce those costs. Click here to read more >

  4. Pilot Flying J Looking For A Few Good Road Warriors 
    Pilot Flying J has announced the company's new Road Warrior program. The company will accept nominations for professional drivers whose dedication and hard work set them apart. Pilot will feature nominees on a new website, and reward them with daily and weekly rewards. The nomination process is open and drivers can submit names for fellow drivers or for themselves. The grand prize for the ultimate Road Warrior will include a $10,000 award. Click here to read more >

  5. Restaurant Sales And Guest Counts Drop In February 
    The Restaurant Industry Snapshot for February reports a same-store sales drop of 0.7 percent and a guest count decrease of 3.2 percent. The guest count drop was the second largest decrease in the last 12 months. According to an official with TDn2K, which publishes the Snapshot, "The reality is February of last year was a horrible month for the industry as a perfect storm of rising payroll taxes, political uncertainty and bad weather hit the country and drove same-store sales to almost -5.0 percent for the month, the worst results since the period immediately after the end of the recession in 2009. Under that perspective, the -0.7 percent posted by the industry in February 2014 is very concerning when analyzed on a two-year basis." Click here to read more >

  6. When Leadership Assets Become Liabilities 
    Many leaders possess traits that develop significant success. Attributes such as intensity, sense of urgency and business knowledge can also become liabilities if they are not coupled with other characteristics. Team members can tire of these strengths unless the leader is also concerned about how they impact the team. To truly succeed, great leaders must combine trustworthiness, transparency and exceptional communication skills with their core strengths. Click here to read more >

  7. NATSO Member Named Retail Leader of the Year 
    John MacDougall, CEO of NATSO member Nice N Easy Grocery Shoppes, has been named 2013 Retail Leader of the Year by Convenience Store Petroleum. The Canastota, N.Y., based chain has 88 stores, 37 of which are company-operated. “[MacDougall] isn’t motivated by money or a fancy house, all the things that may drive the average person," a company official said. "What gets him up in the morning is to see people become a part of the community, feeling good about the job they do." Click here to read more >

  8. Questar Plans CNG Station In Phoenix 
    Questar Fueling Corp. plans to open a fast-fill compressed natural gas station that will be open to the public. Located on Interstate 10, the facility will serve medium and heavy-duty trucks. Central Freight Lines CEO Don Orr said, "Access to reliable, fast-fill CNG fueling stations near our facilities allows us to incorporate more efficient CNG trucks into our fleet. Currently, we're operating 65 CNG trucks in Houston, along with 49 additional CNG vehicles throughout Texas. We are considering expanding our CNG fleet in other areas of our service footprint." Click here to read more >

  9. A New Interstate in the Southwest? 
    Three hundred miles separate the cities of Phoenix, Ariz., and Las Vegas, Nev. Las Vegas has a population of 2 million people and Phoenix is home to 4.3 million. But the two cities are currently connected by US 93, which runs across the desert, combining stretches of two-lane highway and routes through small towns developed in the 1930's. With the population of the two cities expected to grow by 4 million in the next 10 years, many are exploring the idea of a much-needed new Interstate (I-11). With projected costs near $5 billion, the project will be a heavy lift. Click here to read more >

  10. Kentucky House Passes Fuel Tax Increase 
    The Kentucky House of Representatives passed a tax revenue bill that includes a 1.5 cent increase in the state's motor fuels tax. The current tax, which is tied to the average wholesale price of motor fuels, sits at 30.8 cents. Passage by the Senate, which is controlled by Republicans, is uncertain. 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

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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.