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.
During my travels, I was recently able to visit Pride Travel Center in Salome, Arizona, which is owned by Manjit Bajwa, Charanjit Bajwa, Laddie Bajwa and Jagjit Kahlon. Pride recently took this store over and have been making steady improvements to the operations, which is resulting in good success.
The general manager, Muhammad, has a great background and excels in his current position. Not only was he a professional truck driver, he worked for McLane, so he has a lot of merchandising and operational background. I was very impressed with his understanding as it relates to SKU management.
The Pride Salome location is doing some unique things that really set it apart. They have an especially strong food program.
They have a taco truck outside, which is drawing in customers. The taco truck used to be parked nearby, but the truck’s operator didn’t have the right approvals to park in the space, so Pride’s management invited the owner onto their lot. The location felt that would help business in general and the decision has paid off.
The location also has a Pizza Hut Express and has plans to open a fast-casual Indian restaurant on the lot. They will bring some of that food, such as chicken kabobs and naan, into the location to sell on the counter.
What’s more, Pride is talking to other QSR operators such as Sonic to round out their offerings as well as looking at other types of food to support their grab-and-go food programs.
The location also has a strong counter program for their food offerings. They’ve looked at how they could become a house of brands, which helps them build customers. They currently have counter programs from TCBY Yogurt, Mrs. Fields Cookies and ICEE.
With a combination of brands, local and unique food offerings, I expect Pride Salome to continue experiencing success.
Everyone at Pride is continuing to improve the store. They are very open minded and are taking a progressive approach to growing their profit centers and meeting customers’ needs.
/// 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
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