Topics: Great Ideas

Ten Questions for Your Own Domestic Study Tour

Learning from your peers is a great opportunity for operators to find new ideas to help improve the performance of their businesses. NATSO has hosted a number of Domestic Study Tours that combine tours of premier retail locations and networking opportunities with other innovative operators. The 2016 NATSO Domestic Study Tour will take place in September 14 – 15 at Fairfield BP, Lee Hi Travel Plaza and White's Travel Plaza near Lexington, Virginia. (These tours always sell out. I would encourage you to register soon as the feedback has been phenomenal.) For the ultimate study tour experience, I encourage you to join us. But, you can also craft your own mini study tour by keeping your eyes out for certain things every time you enter a competitor’s location. You could even pick a day to visit a handful of locations and compare their operations while searching for your own great ideas. Here are 10 sets of questions to ask yourself during your own, mini study tour. More

Where: Fuel King Napoleon Travel Center - Great Idea: Clothing Donation Dropoff

At their location in Napoleon, Ohio, owners Jack and Paul Grewal had heard from drivers looking to donate jackets at the end of the season so they could avoid hauling them around for an entire year. The drivers didn’t want to simply throw away the jackets, and the Grewals wanted to help facilitate drivers’ generosity. More

How to Categorize Your Truckstop’s Merchandise and Increase Your Turns

Here is some of my basic truckstop merchandise advice: categorize your merchandise carefully and pay attention to how fast it turns. First, let’s chat categories. Breaking your merchandise down into categories at a minimum is critical to understanding why, when, how and what your merchandising is doing. And if you have the resources, breaking it down further to sub categories will help you further understand your merchandise. Detailed sales tracking helps good retailers learn more about their customers and their customers’ buying habits.... More

Lancaster Travel Plaza, LLC's Great Idea: Solar Panel Farm Members Only Join or Login

Using federal and state grants, Lancaster Travel Plaza in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, added a solar panel farm to greatly reduce their energy bill. It will take six to seven years to recoup the cost of the equipment. After that, their electricity needs will be completely supported by the solar farm. Adding the solar farm took about four to five months. It involved applying for the grants, working with their electric company, getting approval from the town and installing the panels. More

Great Ideas from Sapp Bros. Members Only Join or Login

As the editor of Stop Watch, I attended the tour to gather the locations’ best ideas to share with Stop Watch readers. The first day of the tour was spent at two Sapp Bros.’ locations, which I’ll share about. More

Where: White Petro Stopping Center Members Only Join or Login

In the fall of 2015 White’s Petro Stopping Center in Raphine, Virginia, added a number of new amenities including a pharmacy. Owner Bobby Berkstresser first began thinking about adding the pharmacy when they added a doctors’ clinic in 2012. More

Truckstop One-Day Sale: What to Do Day Before, Day of and Day After

One-day sales can be a great way to add excitement to a truckstop and travel plaza locations and spike sales. During the most recent Operational Exchange phone call we discussed the role one-day sales can play during seasonal and/or holiday special events. After the call I received a handful of follow-up questions asking for more details on the concept of a one-day sale, which made me realize operators could use some standard operating procedure guidelines to follow when creating such an event. More

Best of Darren's Great Ideas for Independent Operators in 2015

Thanksgiving means pumpkin pie, time to give thanks and if we are lucky a trip out of town with family and friends. As Darren enjoys a much-deserved vacation, I thought I'd guest host with a round-up of his most popular blog posts. More

Master a One-Day Sale with These 16 Tips

One-day sales can be a great way to add excitement to a truckstop and travel plaza locations and spike sales. During the most recent Operational Exchange phone call we discussed the role one-day sales can play during seasonal and/or holiday special events. After the call I received a handful of follow-up questions asking for more details on the concept of a one-day sale, which made me realize operators could use some standard operating procedure guidelines to follow when creating such an event. More

White’s Travel Center to Share Their Great Idea of a Pharmacy at The NATSO Show

In the fall of 2015, White’s Petro Stopping Center in Raphine, Virginia, added a number of new amenities, including a pharmacy. Owner Bobby Berkstresser first began thinking about adding the pharmacy when they added a doctors’ clinic in 2012. The truckstop is a rural area and is about 15 minutes away from the closest pharmacy. With the clinic now seeing as many as 70 to 80 patients a day and, of course, giving many of those patients prescriptions, he felt it was time to pursue his idea. Their first step was to do a demographic study, which study found that a pharmacy at their location could be profitable with local traffic alone. More