Topics: Great Ideas

Create a Strong Microwave Section to Increase Grab-n-Go Offerings

According to this article from the Institute of Food Technologists, “Microwavable foods are changing, thanks to consumers’ increasing time pressure, nutritional awareness, and desire for foods that taste and smell like they were cooked in a conventional oven.” (Be sure to check out the article. While old, it still has a lot of relevant points.) This is especially true for the time-pressed travelers who visit your truckstop. For them, the microwave section of your truckstop can be a destination location. Not only will customers heat food within the location, over-the-road drivers may grab something they can prepare in their truck later. The number of products that can be microwaved continue to increase. We are also seeing microwavable products of better quality. Some examples of popular food items include popcorn by Orville Redenbacher, Campbell’s soup and pastas by Barilla. We’re also seeing new products, such as single-serve Rice-a-Roni cups and mashed potatoes by Idahoan. As quoted in the article linked above, “Microwave cooking is not simply a shorter way to heat things, but rather it is an integral part of the way people live. This is a very positive environment for microwavable food.” More

Create a Strong Microwave Section to Increase Grab-n-Go Offerings

According to this article from the Institute of Food Technologists, “Microwavable foods are changing, thanks to consumers’ increasing time pressure, nutritional awareness, and desire for foods that taste and smell like they were cooked in a conventional oven.” (Be sure to check out the article. While old, it still has a lot of relevant points.) This is especially true for the time-pressed travelers who visit your truckstop. For them, the microwave section of your truckstop can be a destination location. Not only will customers heat food within the location, over-the-road drivers may grab something they can prepare in their truck later. The number of products that can be microwaved continue to increase. We are also seeing microwavable products of better quality. Some examples of popular food items include popcorn by Orville Redenbacher, Campbell’s soup and pastas by Barilla. We’re also seeing new products, such as single-serve Rice-a-Roni cups and mashed potatoes by Idahoan. As quoted in the article linked above, “Microwave cooking is not simply a shorter way to heat things, but rather it is an integral part of the way people live. This is a very positive environment for microwavable food.” More

Truckstop Travels: How the Flowers at White's Travel Center Blew Me Away

Last week Pamela Hayes, NATSO’s vice president strategic partnerships, and I had the pleasure of spending five quality hours with NATSO member Bobby Berkstresser at his two truckstops, Lee Hi Travel Plaza and White's Travel Center, LLC. The majority of our time was spent at White's Travel Center, LLC. Both locations are top examples of cleanliness, efficiency and effective service. There are so many amazing positive programs, processes and procedures taking place that create a wonderful customer experience. Among all these sights, smells and sounds that you experience at White’s, there is one that really stood out for me. It was all the flowers. Entering the White’s location you are greeted by well-groomed grass, awesome landscaping and artistically placed boulders and rocks. And then, there are the flowers! Flowers of all types are everywhere. More

Five Tips for Selling Gifts and Themed Apparel

In today’s economy, gift programs in many locations do not sell like they used to. Travelers and over-the-road drivers have significantly less disposable dollars, which means they’re more selective about the items they buy. While they may be purchasing less, gift items are still an important category for truckstop and travel plaza operators, so it is important to utilize the space and inventory you dedicate to gift items. More

Five Tips for Selling Gifts and Themed Apparel

In today’s economy, gift programs in many locations do not sell like they used to. Travelers and over-the-road drivers have significantly less disposable dollars, which means they’re more selective about the items they buy. While they may be purchasing less, gift items are still an important category for truckstop and travel plaza operators, so it is important to utilize the space and inventory you dedicate to gift items. More

Independent Operators Share Ideas For Growth And Cutting Costs During The NATSO Show

Independent truckstop and travel plaza operators are constantly seeking out new products, great ideas and the latest business innovations. But NATSO members aren’t just in search of new ideas, they’re more than willing to share them with their peers. More

How to Best Utilize Pump Toppers at Your Truckstop

Pump toppers can be one of the best ways to drive business into your operation, create a message to shop and boost retail sales from the fueling islands. More

Truckstop Beer Merchandising 101

Summer is the season when beer sales drive additional add-on purchases such as ice, chips and coolers, so NOW is the time to ramp up your beer merchandising efforts. More

Seven Steps to Minimize Loss from Fuel Theft at Your Truckstop

Recently a driver stole $1,500 worth of fuel from a truckstop in Virginia. In our industry, drive-offs are less of an issue than they were just a short 10 years ago, but sometimes fuel theft does occur. Here are some steps that truckstop operators can take to minimize loss. More

Key Customer Considerations at Your Truckstop

What I continue to be amazed by is the need for our industry to differentiate itself from one another. Too often in the areas of food, truck supply, and convenience we replicate what the other person down the street is doing rather than figuring out exactly who are our customers is and why are they pulling in from the street. We all certainly agree that fuel price plays the biggest draw but from that point on, are there other reasons and do you understand those reasons? Furthermore, are you capitalizing on them? More

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