Photo Credit: Chuck Fazio/NATSO
Even the busiest locations experience slow times of the day, and operators said they use those slow periods to prepare for peak times and get creative to boost business during traditionally slow times.
“There are all kinds of things that can be done during slow times—deep cleaning, bagging ice, maintenance. It just depends on your set up,” said Butch Stucky, vice president of retail operations at Triplett Inc.
Keith Wade, manager at Dodge City Petro, said, “We have to stay open 24 hours a day no matter what, so we mainly do a lot of preparation during the off hours.”
Operators shared their strategies for making the most of down time and using it to their advantage.
- Prepare For Food Sales
“Food to go has become such a great seller that at night we have folks in the kitchen preparing food— chicken salads or biscuits—for the morning. We rev up by 5 a.m. so we’ll have 100 biscuits ready to go and have our deli area stocked,” Wade said.
- Go Out And Find Customers
When it is slow in the shop at Mitten Truck Stop, Matt Mildenberger, general manager at the location, sometimes sends a shop manager out into the field to meet with carriers and try to drum up business. “We try to do that mid-morning or early afternoon. A lot of times that manager that left in a pick-up truck will bring back one of their trucks to work on,” he said.
Jim Goetz, president of Goetz Companies, has started catering for businesses and events within 10 miles of the location. “The idea is we want to expand our restaurant sales. If you can’t get customers in the seats in the restaurant, we’ll go out and find those customers,” he said, adding that the location purchased a catering truck...