Jubitz Travel Center Gets It Right

Founded in 1952 as a truck leasing company, Jubitz Travel Center has been a fixture in the Northwest since opening in its current North Portland location in 1958.

Founded in 1952 as a truck leasing company, Jubitz Travel Center has been a fixture in the Northwest since opening in its current North Portland location in 1958.

Jubitz has a 100-room hotel, 24-hour full-service Cascade Grill restaurant, Ponderosa Lounge, 80-seat Portlander cinema movie theater, gas station and convenience store, as well as a barbershop/hair salon, shoe repair shop and laundromat.

Sitting on 26 acres, the location is unarguably huge. But as is often the case for many NATSO members, it is the small things that have kept Jubitz in business for more than 60 years.

“Owner Fred Jubitz is a big proponent of doing things right the first time,” said general manager Chris Wetzel.

This fall, Wetzel, took Stop Watch on a tour of the facility and highlighted a few of the things they’re doing right, both large and small.

DigitalMovieatJubitz.jpgDigital Movie Theater
Jubitz has an 80-seat cinema movie theater that generates nontraditional income in the form of movie sales, food sales for patrons and advertising sales. They recently switched to a digital movie system and can now program the entire week’s worth of movies and advertisements in just an hour. They also were able to cut the labor cost of someone to run the movie. “It is fun to program. It took a while to get used to, but now it really is fun to program the movies,” Wetzel said.

BulkDisplayatJubitz.jpgBulk Displays
While merchandise just dropped in the middle of a store is not good retailing, carefully chosen and crafted bulk displays are an example of good merchandising. “We sell a lot of water gallons—a surprising amount really. A big display like this allows customers to easily grab a jug and it can be easily restocked,” Wetzel said. Behind the water, they also have coolers. “Coolers are a high-margin item, but they take up a lot of space,” Wetzel explained. The bulk display allows them to put out more than one and keep this high-margin item well-stocked.

JubitzInventorySystem.jpgInventory Storage Systems
The inventory storage system at Jubitz is simple and easy to use. The bins in a small room behind their c-store allow them to keep their shelves full at all times. The bins are labeled by category. To refill, employees just need to take out the bin with the correct category to fill up the shelves. “It really helps us stock better,” Wetzel said.

JubitzReceivingArea.jpgInventory Receiving Area
Truckstops and travel plazas are constantly receiving deliveries from vendors. To ensure inventory is not placed on the floor before it is put in their system, Jubitz has a clearly marked area for receivables. It is labeled with “Do not put out,” which will prevent an eager employee from putting it on the floor too early.


JubitzDigitalMedia.jpgWhen Jubitz Travel Center renovated the deli, they added digital media. “We have a lot of specials and so we were spending a lot of time and money printing signs,” Wetzel said. They can now load all the specials and menus onto a flash drive and easily update the digital displays.

Wetzel and his staff at Jubitz know the little stuff is important too. For example, they have put the brightly colored candy at the bottom of their display where children will easily see it.




This article originally ran in Stop Watch magazineStop Watch provides in-depth content to assist NATSO members in improving their travel plaza business operations.

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