Truckstop Business

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DOT Kicks Off First Human Trafficking Advisory Committee Meeting; NATSO Serves on Subcommittee

December 19, 2018

DOT Kicks Off First Human Trafficking Advisory Committee Meeting; NATSO Serves on Subcommittee

The Department of Transportation (DOT) recently kicked off the first meeting of its Human Trafficking Advisory Committee, which aims to develop strategies that state agencies and local transportation stakeholders can utilize to implement anti-human trafficking initiatives.

Meet the 2018 Bill and Carolyn Moon Scholarship Recipients

November 1, 2018

Meet the 2018 Bill and Carolyn Moon Scholarship Recipients

The NATSO Foundation’s Bill and Carolyn Moon Scholarship program is continuing to change lives, and this year, five hardworking students received scholarships they can use to advance their education. The Bill and Carolyn Moon Scholarship is awarded to industry employees and their children based on academic merit, financial need, community activities and a short essay. The recipients said the $5,000 awards will help pay for tuition, but are even more meaningful because they came from the truckstop and travel plaza industry.

Build Effective Displays at Your Truckstop [Infographic]

November 1, 2018

Build Effective Displays at Your Truckstop [Infographic]

The right displays at your truckstop can drive retail sales, create convenience and contribute to a location's atmosphere.

 Women in the Truckstop Industry: Creating a Destination for Drivers

November 1, 2018

Women in the Truckstop Industry: Creating a Destination for Drivers

The truckstop and travel plaza industry is full of outstanding operators who continually make life easier for their customers. Throughout 2018, Stop Watch would like to highlight a handful of the women who make the industry great.

Six Ways to Set Your Truckstop Apart Using Today’s Food Trends

November 1, 2018

Six Ways to Set Your Truckstop Apart Using Today’s Food Trends

Food sales continue to be a hot area for truckstops and travel plazas, and a lot of operators are turning to food service to drive incremental sales and profitability. Consumer demand is proving that not only is there is a place for food service within retail operations but also that it can drive inside traffic. “The ultimate challenge for truckstop operators and convenience-store operators, is elevating their food and creating a point of difference,” said David Henkes, advisory group senior principal at Technomic, a consulting firm that specializes in food service. “You have to think about who you are appealing to and how you’re driving them into the store. If you’re really focused on making your location a destination or bringing local consumers in as well as the truck drivers or travelers, then you have to do something different.” Stop Watch sat down with Henkes, to learn more about the food service industry and how operators can use food to differentiate themselves. Henkes shared five tips operators can embrace to set themselves apart with today’s food trends.

How to Create an Apparel Program at Your Truckstop

November 1, 2018

How to Create an Apparel Program at Your Truckstop

Apparel is a category that does well in truckstops and travel plazas if operators understand who their customers are and purchase and present merchandise in the right way. “A strong apparel program is an opportunity to increase profits,” said Darren Schulte, vice president of membership for NATSO. “When done correctly in our industry, apparel can have margins of 50 to 100 percent profit depending on what types of products you’re selling and what you buy.”

Thank You For The Opportunity To Serve As Your Chairman

November 1, 2018

Thank You For The Opportunity To Serve As Your Chairman

For the past three years I have had the privilege of serving as chairman of NATSO’s board of directors, and I have so many thoughts and memories as my term comes to a close. I am grateful for the many relationships and connections I’ve made not only as chairman, but also as a NATSO member. I attended my first NATSO trade show in New Orleans 1989 and my affinity for the association and the members has continually increased since then.

Foundation Brings Fun Run to NATSO Connect 2019

October 26, 2018

Foundation Brings Fun Run to NATSO Connect 2019

Pack your running shoes for NATSO Connect 2019! New this year, the NATSO Foundation is bringing a Fun Run to NATSO Connect 2019 as the yeary fundraiser. The NATSO Foundation Fun Run will be Monday, February 11 at 7:00 a.m.

NATSO CEO Featured in USA TODAY Truck Driver Special

September 7, 2018

NATSO CEO Featured in USA TODAY Truck Driver Special

NATSO President and CEO Lisa Mullings was featured in the ‘Empowering Our Female Truck Drivers' campaign, published in the Sept. 7 issue of USA Today, in which industry leaders highlighted the improvements that have been made for women within the industry.

Truckstop Amenities: What to Add and What to Reconsider [Infographic]

September 1, 2018

Truckstop Amenities: What to Add and What to Reconsider [Infographic]

Truckstop amenities are changing.

Boost Truckstop Sales with Today's Hot Categories

September 1, 2018

Boost Truckstop Sales with Today's Hot Categories

Although there is no magic bullet for winning customers and increasing each transaction, truckstop and travel plaza operators said they are seeing tremendous success in certain categories, but what is hot today isn’t always what has sold in the past.

From a Cash Register to Capitol Hill: Robin Puthusseril Helps Advance the Industry

September 1, 2018

From a Cash Register to Capitol Hill: Robin Puthusseril Helps Advance the Industry

When Robin Puthusseril, vice president and co-owner of The Greater Chicago I-55 Truck Plaza, was just six years old, she stood on a milk crate to run the cash registers in her family’s grocery business. Today, she is using her expertise to help guide the family’s travel plaza, and she is sharing her insight to help the entire industry. Puthusseril recently testified before Congress on behalf of NATSO and truckstop and travel plaza operators nationwide during a House Committee hearing titled Advanced Biofuels Under the Renewable Fuel Standard.

Our Truckstop Employees Are Our First Customers

September 1, 2018

Our Truckstop Employees Are Our First Customers

All across the country, unemployment levels are hitting record lows. In some communities, unemployment rates are as low as 2.5%, and while that is good news for the economy, it can make it harder and harder for business owners to find the top-quality employees they need. We are all aware of the massive driver shortage, but fleets aren’t the only ones facing a lack of workers. Many truckstops and travel plazas are as well. The help situation is critical in all of our locations. We have to attract and retain top talent in order to keep our customer-service levels high.

Get Consumers to Travel Through Your Whole Truckstop Store

July 1, 2018

Get Consumers to Travel Through Your Whole Truckstop Store

During the Good to Great Session at NATSO Connect, the other panelists and I shared our thoughts on what drives traffic through a location. What was interesting was that we all had slightly different ideas. That shows how important it is for operators to really understand who their current customers are and, if they are looking to attract different ones, find the solution that is best for that specific location.

Three Generations of Women Create Success at Coffee Cup Fuel Stops

July 1, 2018

Three Generations of Women Create Success at Coffee Cup Fuel Stops

Jane Heinz started her journey into the truckstop and travel plaza industry when she married into it 36 years ago. Since then, she has worked side-by-side with her husband, Tom, to open new Coffee Cup Fuel Stops stores and train people to run them. She also has done everything from serving as general manager to handling the merchandising, and together she and Tom have created a thriving business that now includes their children and grandchildren.

Nominate an Industry Leader for the NATSO Hall of Fame Award

July 1, 2018

Nominate an Industry Leader for the NATSO Hall of Fame Award

NATSO is currently accepting nominations for the Hall of Fame award and is inviting all members to nominate their peers who have a long history of supporting the truckstop and travel plaza industry, their employees and their communities.

Three Ways Truckstop Operators Are Using Partnerships to Grow Business

July 1, 2018

Three Ways Truckstop Operators Are Using Partnerships to Grow Business

More and more retailers are joining together to form creative partnerships, which allows them to reach customers in new ways and spur sales. When brands join forces, it can help them create a better in-store customer experience and make a more memorable impression on customers.

Truckstop Floor Layout Best Practices [Infographic]

July 1, 2018

Truckstop Floor Layout Best Practices [Infographic]

Creating the right flow through a truckstop and travel plaza can draw customers deeper into the location and help increase sales.

Truckstop Operators Use Varied Food and Offerings to Appeal to Travelers and Locals

July 1, 2018

Truckstop Operators Use Varied Food and Offerings to Appeal to Travelers and Locals

Wendi Powell, co-owner of Big Boys Truck Stop in Kenley, North Carolina, knows that travel centers need to be all things to all people, and she tries to create solutions that appeal to all types of customers, whether they are locals, the traveling public or professional drivers. “The more creatively we can make the mix work, the better for us,” Powell said. Although convenience and time are always important, local customers love favorites while travelers like experiences. “It's my goal to create a mix,” Powell said. At Busy Bee, a regional chain of travel centers in Florida, local customers are in the store weekly and form close relationships with the locations and teams. “We see them coming in to not only to fill up their cars, but also meet daily/weekly needs from grocery items to our locally made cakes,” said Elizabeth Waring, president of Busy Bee. “However, with our traveling guests the needs slightly vary. When they stop in at our facility, they are there to fill a more immediate need. We have tried to build those relationships so that as they travel they look to us first to fill that—or empty that.”

Taking the NATSO Foundation's Pulse

July 1, 2018

Taking the NATSO Foundation's Pulse

As we cross into the second half of the year, now is a great time to stop and reflect on all that the NATSO Foundation is doing in 2018 to help advance the educational needs of the truckstop and travel plaza industry.

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