For professional drivers, food is often the thing that matters most for them when they are on the road. In a survey of 1,500 Check-Link drivers, more than half of respondents said a location’s food offerings, after fuel, are one of the most important things that drive their decisions on where to stop.
Last month, Amy Toner, NATSO’s vice president, publishing, digital content, and I sat down to talk about this survey and our survey on the Top Things Professional Drivers Have Appreciated at Truckstops During COVID-19.
Drivers could share specific comments, and several said they appreciate fresh food and a hot meal. Drivers also noted sit-down meals and the importance of receiving a good meal in a reasonable amount of time.
Food is one of the top ways for a truckstop or travel plaza to differentiate itself. Plus, professional drivers and the traveling public have to eat several times a day, so there are multiple opportunities to impress customers.
Professional drivers, in particular, can be different types of buyers depending on the time of day. For example, a driver who is done for the day may want a nice, sit-down meal, while a driver still on the clock is after something fast.
Drivers also care about showers, and they want a clean facility where they can recharge for the day ahead. Additionally, drivers mentioned the importance of available parking and others noted the value associated with discounts when asked what features matter most.
One driver said he was grateful for truckstop and travel plaza owners that fly the American Flag while another mentioned the significance of reward programs. Drivers also want to be treated well, according to respondents.
A deeper level of understanding of driver challenges is especially important during the COVID-19 pandemic as operators work to meet driver needs, and NATSO undertook the survey to help operators get to know their customers better.
Once again, I want to thank all NATSO members for the work they're doing to support our nation's professional drivers.
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