Editor's note: Darren Schulte, NATSO vice president of membership, frequently visits NATSO members to review their locations and offers impactful merchandising and operations improvements. Contact Schulte at firstname.lastname@example.org or (915) 526-5820 to learn more about the costs and details of this service.
Gordon Price, national sales director at DAS Companies Inc., has spent a significant amount of time inside of truckstops and travel plazas throughout the country, which is why I so highly value his opinion. This week, I asked him to sit down with me for a Q&A about Coffee Cup Fuel Stops newly renovated location, which is in Vermillion, South Dakota.
Q. What were your first impressions when you entered the location?
A. It is very modern, bright, spacious and trendy. From the outside to the inside, it looks completely brand new and is an entirely new store from the one I was in last year. They have added quite a bit of space with additions and added a dog park. They also installed LED lighting under each one of the gondola shelves in their candy and snack section, so the chips and other treats now look as appealing as a lit cooler. The LED lights create a glow over the products, and it looks really sharp. I was impressed with the presentation.
Q. Can you tell us about the food court?
A. The entire food court is laid out very well and provides several brand offerings as well as the latest self-ordering technology at the Subway. They had a handful of monitors and you just walk up place your order on screen along with toppings then head to the counter for your pick up. The food court also includes a self-serve waffle machine, which is a fun addition. There is also a self-checkout center at their cashier center.
Q. What are some of the unique design features you saw?
A. They used reclaimed barn wood and stone for décor inside, which gives the location a modern and upbeat look to it especially when entering into the rest rooms. They have also added fireplaces, which create a warm and welcome look. Upstairs they have an enclosed all-glass viewing room with televisions as well as a great and relaxing view. The space is nothing like the old school trucker lounges that are usually enclosed, dark and have no windows. If I were a driver that had extra time I would certainly enjoy the upstairs room.
/// Did you know most weeks can find Darren Schulte, NATSO's Vice President of Membership, visiting a NATSO member truckstop location, spending three to four days, using his merchandising and operations expertise to help them grow their business? Learn about NATSO’s Profitable Retail Review program here.
Photos Credit: Darren Schulte/NATSO, Gordon Price/DAS Companies Inc.
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