Topics: Great Ideas

Dedicated Pump for Rv Traffic at Anew Travel Center Members Only Join or Login

Anew Travel Center, which is located in Zeeland, Michigan, is a family-ownedand-operated company with more than 65 years in the transportation industry. The Meeuwsen family decided to build their truckstop in 2013 to offer renewable energy sources, including ethanol and biodiesel blends, to end consumers. More

Before Purchasing New Technology, Use What You Have

Technology is such an important word in our culture today, and we often think more and better technology is the solution to whatever challenge we’re facing. During my visits with truckstop and travel plaza operators, many of them tell me they’re thinking of investing in new technology. I always like to dig a little deeper into why. More

What Does Walmart's Advanced Vehicle Experience Mean for Truckstops?

The trucking industry is buzzing with news of Walmart's Advanced Vehicle Experience. The truck prototype combines aerodynamics, mictroturbine-hybrid powertrain, electrification, advanced control systems, and cutting edge materials like carbon fiber all in one vehicle with the end goal of drastically improving fuel efficiency. More

White's 2.0: Destination Station

The Berkstresser's recently completed their second remodel of White's Travel Center and this one is somehow more impressive than the first. Under the Berkstresser's direction, White's evolved into a true family establishment and a home away from home for many. The latest incarnation, White's 2.0 as I call it, not only strengthens that sense of home, but also provides the opportunity to bring a little bit of your travels home thanks to some retail innovation, which I was fortunate enough to witness at their Grand Opening celebration for their expansion -- aptly named Destination Station. More

How to Know Your Truckstop Customer

I always highlight the importance of knowing your customer and understanding what your customers want, but operators frequently ask me what that means. They also want to know if it is going to be hard and where to start. I always tell them that, no, it isn’t hard, but it takes some time and effort to do it correctly. As so many of our members remind me daily, operators do not know what they do not know. Unless you have been taught how to spacewalk, chances are that when given the opportunity, you will not do well at that activity. So let’s walk through an example process of discovering who your customers are and what they want from you. More

WaWa Shares its Brand Building Tips at The NATSO Show

The convenience store chain WaWa is a leader in customer loyalty and food service, and during The NATSO Show 2014, WaWa executives shared their knowledge with truckstop and travel plaza operators. More

Truckstops Face New, Varied Competition

The truckstop and travel plaza industry is facing competition from a number of fronts. Last year in Stop Watch magazine, we covered some of those sources, including grocery stores and restaurants installing gas pumps and home improvement stores adding food offerings. These and other forms of competition are becoming much more formidable as our customers continue to be starved for time and as vehicles improve their miles per gallon. Not only are drivers stopping less, now more than ever they are looking for the closest, most convenient one-stop shop. Retailers are responding by offering them more opportunities to stop, shop and fuel, which may mean less opportunities in our locations. More

Calculating the ROI in Truckstop Technology Projects

When I am out in the field visiting members, they frequently ask me about technology. Operators are often wondering if they should upgrade their pumps or their point-of-sale system, invest in a mobile app, update their web site or purchase digital devices, such as a menu board. As with any major purchase, business owners also want to know what the return on their investment (ROI) will be, but that isn’t always easy with technology investments. To start, it is helpful for operators to gather information about the benefits of the technology they are considering, such as increased speed of service for their customers or their employees, which can result in decreased costs and an improved experience. From there, operators can begin putting a pencil to paper. Let’s say you find new point-of-sale technology that can save employees time counting a till, and it saves you one hour and you’re paying that employee $15 an hour and you have three employees on shift. Now you have a number associated with your return. You may also find that an updated POS system provides a streamlined reporting process, allowing you to take care of it faster, or create a loyalty program that will allow you to establish a correlation of growth. Those are all quantifiable benefits. More

10 Ways To Be A Better Holiday Merchandiser Than Santa Claus

Yep, the summer drive is not even over and I am beginning to see holiday themes, gifts and toys popping up in big retail. Recently, on a trip overseas, I saw early signs of Christmas shopping at two of England’s landmark retail operations. So what does that say about your operation? Do you need to have Santa Claus, Rudolph, and a Christmas tree displays up now? Certainly not, but I hope that you have a plan in place to take advantage of the upcoming holiday season. Let’s cover a host of items you should have in place already. 1. You have noted on your calendar when your holiday shipments, winter additives and fourth quarter product will be arriving. You have made sure that your staffing needs are appropriately deployed to get this merchandise properly checked in, properly priced and properly displayed as soon as it arrives. More

Four Great Ideas from The NATSO Show

During Great Ideas! Session for Independent Operators at The NATSO Show, truckstop and travel plaza owners and managers came together to discuss the successful things they are doing. Here are four great ideas operators shared with their peers: More

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