A great ideas issue would not be complete without some GREAT IDEAS directly from independent operators. Operators from coast to coast shared, proving that NATSO members are thinking outside of the box, putting customers first and adapting as necessary to stay relevant to their customers.
“About six months ago I had an idea to honor women truckers during truck driver appreciation week. I ordered in pink hats that say Broadway Flying J and they went over really well. Women in particular were flabbergasted that we were singling them out. We had some hats leftover, so in October, which is breast cancer awareness month, we decided to put these caps out for a $5 donation with 100 percent of the money to go to the Susan G. Komen breast cancer fund. We’ve raised about $4,000. Our employees got into it. Our customers got into it. Guys were buying four, five or six caps for their sisters, mothers, daughters. We heard a lot of great stories about the battle and winning the battle and it moved us all. Any time we as an industry can do something good for somebody else, it is a good thing.”
- Dan Alsaker, Broadway Truck Stops, Spokane, Washington
“We know restrooms are a major factor in the decision making process for where people stop. To be family friendly, we’ve added a family restroom at one location. It also has a kid-size toilet. It hasn’t been open long enough to know what kind of response we’ll get, but soon we’re going to have tablets positioned outside of our restroom that will let our customers give us feedback.”
- Chris Heinz, Coffee Cup Fuel Stops, North Sioux City, South Dakota
<“We recently renovated our cooler space. We needed more space for beer. We increased it from eight to 17 doors. We now work with a handful breweries to offer local craft beer.”
- Ryan Shoemaker, Shoemaker’s Truck Station, Inc., Lincoln, Nebraska
“Our best recent idea was adding pizza. We were looking at adding a name brand quickservice option but weren’t finding a good fit. By adding our own program, we are able to avoid franchise fees. We do our own advertising. We’ve added two employees for the program. We do a lot of pizza for the high school concession stand. It is great because we can support the community while also spreading word about our pizza.”
- Scott Gloede, Center Point Travel Plaza, Center Point, Iowa
“We’ve done some beautification work at our locations. We were able to work with the Virginia Department of Transportation to solicit the ability to maintain our interchange on I-95 and do some tree removal that increased our visibility so the customer has a better view of our location prior to our exit.”
- Rex Davis, Davis Travel Centers, Stony Creek, Virginia
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