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Six Ways to Improve Your Speed-of-Service at Your Truckstop

Professional drivers and consumers are increasingly pressed for time, and it isn’t just because they have somewhere to be. For Class 8 truck drivers, hours-of-service regulations and electronic logging devices strictly dictate how they must spend their time, and they have to get the most out of every minute. So, my question to independent truckstop and travel plaza operators is with all these changes that are taking place revolving around speed, what are we doing about it? Are you staffing to get customers in and out quickly? Are you laying the store out for speed? Are you designing the parking lot and fuel pumps to get trucks in and out faster? My nephew is a professional driver and tells me he recently began to stop at QuickTrip because no matter how busy they are, he is always in and out within 30 minutes for food, fuel and the restroom. That tells us so much about where the industry is heading. Here are six areas where you can drive the speed-of-service at your location. More

Find Inspiration and Solutions at NATSO Member Travel Plaza Locations

One of my favorite things about visiting NATSO member locations is discovering best practices, creative solutions and great ideas that can benefit others in the industry. This week, I dug into our archives and have dusted off some past posts that can provide some inspiration on everything from cleaning to signage. More

Key Factors to Consider When Developing a Rebate Program at Your Truckstop

Everyone loves a retail rebate program. Certainly all retail rebate programs are good, right? Certainly they generate more profit for my organization. Or, are they much like fuel programs that you sign up for that are supposed to generate more fuel gallons for your location via a reduced cost to the customer when in the end all they do is generate less profit on customer gallons you already have? Hence, you discount gallons that you are already servicing and the few new gallons generated do not offset the loss profit of the old gallons. But let’s get back to retail rebates. What should you consider when developing a rebate program? More

Steps to Make Sure the Seasonal Promotional Program at Your Truckstop Is Great

Ask anyone how to create a seasonal promotional program and I am certain you will get a different answer from each person. Hopefully the basic tactics would all be about the same and where they would differ would be in the details of the individual and how they would execute the program. That being said, I thought I would layout the basics that I shared from the Good To Great Session from NATSO Connect 2018. More

Create a Successful Staffing Program to Enhance the Customer Experience at Your Truckstop

Competition is increasing, and we have to do everything we can to create a pleasant in-store experience for customers, particularly in our industry where our shoppers demand speed and convenience. One bad experience is all it takes to break a customer’s loyalty, and a single moment of customer frustration could cost you both customers and profits. More

Create Holiday Fun Throughout the Year to Boost Sales at Your Truckstop

I am a fan of holiday and seasonal programs. I’d like to challenge all NATSO members to create memorable seasonal and holiday programs for the entire year. Holiday and seasonal shopping continues to be big retail success, and it is not just Christmas and winter that are successful. Whether it is tax-free days, singles day, Easter, summer drive, etc., many are becoming really, really big retail days. More

Summer is Coming, Is Your Travel Plaza Ready?

I know there is still frost on the ground in some parts of the country and thoughts of summer may be tucked into the back of your mind, but in retail it is never too early to start thinking about upcoming sales opportunities. So many retailers found themselves unprepared when the cold snap hit the East Coast and missed valuable sales opportunities. Don’t let the same thing happen with summer sales! More

Make the Concept of Electronic Shelf Tags Work for You at Your Truckstop

Use of electronic shelf tags is on the rise. During a NATSO Study Tour in Europe, we saw electronic shelf tags in action. They have become much, much more common in Europe and are headed this way. Electronic shelf tags have several benefits, and the main idea is that you can change the pricing multiple times each day in a matter of seconds. More

3 Ways Distilled Biodiesel Can Give Truckstops a Competitive Advantage

Each year around this time, when temperatures are at their lowest, is when the number of questions I receive about biodiesel Cloud Point seem to hit their peak. Cloud Point is the temperature at which wax crystals cause fuel to appear cloudy — and it’s commonly used to determine biodiesel’s cold performance properties. When I get those questions — or when I hear concerns about a higher Cloud Point product — I use it as an opportunity to share with that person the advantages of biodiesel that has been purified using distillation. More

Grow Sales at Your Travel Center with an Apparel Program

Do you have an apparel program? If you do, are you doing all you can with it? If you don’t, it is time to get in this category. Apparel, when done correctly in our industry, can have margins of 50 to 100 percent profit depending on what types of products you’re selling and what you buy. More

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