Truckstop and travel plaza operators came together during NATSO’s popular Great Ideas! Workshop for idea sharing and a fireside chat with Stephanie Stuckey, CEO of Stuckey’s Corp. and a former politician from Georgia, and Dale Elks, general manager of Oasis Travel Center. During the session Stuckey and Elks shared insights into creating a unique brand-building experience, using social media to increase your customer base and strategies for reducing employee turnover.
“Branding is the story of who you are and why you do what you do,” Stuckey said. “If you’re not branding, you’re not promoting what you do, and if you’re not promoting, you’re not selling. If you’re not selling, you’re not making money.”
Both Stuckey and Elks said they use social media to reach customers. Elks said he monitors social media and responds promptly. “Don’t just start social media and then leave it alone. People are looking for interaction,” he said.
Elks also shared his strategies for reducing turnover, which include having lunch with a team member each day and training new cashiers for 14 days. “You’re only as good as the weakest person who works for you,” he said, adding that his turnover averages about 13%. “That is almost unheard of in this day and age.”
The session included dedicated time for independent operators to share great ideas that have helped their business and hear about the great ideas their peers have implemented. Ideas shared throughout the room included using Facebook to highlight employees, having staff upload pictures to Google and using rewards systems to help motivate employees.
The Great Ideas! Workshop, which is designed to get operators’ creative juices flowing, is one of the most popular sessions at NATSO Connect.
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