How Do You Keep Your Management Interested in the Business?

NATSO independent operators share how they keep their management interested in the business.

"First and foremost you have to hire the right manager. That person should by nature be self- motivated, disciplined and competitive. We allow each of our department managers the flexibility to be fully responsible for their department (hiring, firing, ordering, etc.). We measure each of our managers’ effectiveness with daily sales/labor and productivity reports. Monthly we review with each of our managers’ profit and loss statements vs. prior year. Quarterly our managers receive a written appraisal on 10 key components and receive a bonus based on how well they did on the 10 components.

My brother and I are on site every day and offer encouragement, support and leadership. Good com- munication, proper tools and clear expectations are essential for the professional manager to succeed. Our vision is to be the best, and we have hired man- ager who share that vision.”
- Jim Goetz, Jr., Petro Travel Plaza, Portage 201 #53

"This is something that I face day in day out. I used to think managers were uninterested in the business because of an age- or maturity-related problem. So when hiring a manager, whom everything within our business revolves around, I have tried to hire a higher salaried individual, one with stability. However, this doesn’t always work as sometimes the individual is only stable because they are just satisfied with status quo.

Often times, as human beings, our motivations and individual goals change. Owners need to be savvy and alert enough to make sure that the manager’s individual goals and property goals are always aligned.

Also, managers, in some cases, do lose motivation. When this happens, as owners, we need to decide to fish or cut bait. Unfortu- nately when owners sense that management has lost interest in the operations of the business, the best remedy is often replacement. For me, a manager who has lost interest in the operation is a li- ability and beyond motivation.”
- Manish Sthanki, Ccim, Lucky Deuces Casino LLC

"I support the managers. If you support them on their weaker issues and demon- strate that you’re interested in what they’re doing, you get a stronger manager than even they thought they’d be. We also hold regular manager meetings. They get feedback and they can voice their issues and complaints and concerns. You get all of that out and you get a list of issues and you try to address those going forward. If the managers feel like their issues are being addressed, they are better managers and they do a better job.” 
- Ron Hicks, Silver’s Travel Center And Casino, Frog City Travel Plaza And Henderson Travel Plaza


This article originally ran in Stop Watch magazineStop Watch provides in-depth content to assist NATSO members in improving their travel plaza business operations and provides context on trends and news affecting the industry.

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