Topics: Great Ideas

Flags and Family at Ports to Plains Members Only Join or Login

If you drove up to Ports to Plains truckstop, located in Lamar, Colorado, the first thing you’d probably notice is their big American flag. “We have a 20-foot by 30-foot American flag out front and a dozen American flags around the facility,” said owner Jim Miller. More

Wawa Great Idea: Coffee and Cream and Sugar Stations

Wawa coffee is a proprietary, private-label blend available only at Wawa stores. Wawa’s coffee station includes at least eight different varieties. In 2010 they changed their coffee from glass pots to thermals, and in 2012, Wawa began offering a full-service specialty beverage area where customers can order hand-made varieties of lattes, hot chocolates and more via touch screens. Since the year 2000, Wawa has served more than one billion cups of coffee. More

Ten Ways to Convert More Truckstop Customers and Serve Them Faster

Gather 10 actionable items you can do to improve the speed of your customers while increasing conversion rates. More

Reducing Risks at the Fuel Island at Your Truckstop

The flammable nature of fuels make fire a top concern among operators, but there are a number of steps locations and employees can take to reduce the risk of a fire occurring or to avoid making a situation worse a fire if a fire starts. As a best practice, operators should ensure all employees know the where fire extinguishers are located. They should also be know how to utilize the emergency shutdown button that will stop fuel from flowing through the pumps are located. They also need to prevent people from smoking near the fuel islands, during loading and unloading operations and within twenty-five feet of bulk trucks and transports. More

Drive Extra Retail Sales at Your Truckstop on a Tax Free Day

As retailers it is important to have a holiday and seasonal retail/promotional program and participate in national holidays, which can be a sales driver. We often forget that our core customer and others who spend the majority of their time on our nation’s interstates and highways are starved for time when it comes to purchasing items for their loved ones gifts for that special occasion and or holiday. In my past, a robust holiday, one-day sale, summer drive and tax-free retail/promotional program all played a role in driving incredible retail sales through the coffers. Sales folks still today would have a hard time believing it had they not experienced it themselves. And, by the way, did I say tax-free day? More

Petro Dodge City #397's Great Idea: Historic Outhouse Members Only Join or Login

One of the ways Petro Dodge City #397 in Hanceville, Alabama, sets itself apart from its competition is by having an historic outhouse in its truckstop. More

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

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