As a travel center operator, you must always be asking yourself how can you better serve your customers.
Here are nine great ideas to implement to make sure you are growing sales and giving customers what they want.
- Create an end cap near the cash register or front of the store with cords, connectors and adapters for devices. These are a higher ring/margin items and an impulse buy in most cases. I can tell you from first-hand experience that I occasionally need some cord that I lost, quit working or left at home.
- Have someone other than yourself, preferably a woman, walk through your store and write down his or her observations and suggestions. You might want to do the same with an employee from each shift. Another set of eyes for a fresh look is always a benefit.
- Healthy food is a growing category, so consider adding items such as bananas and other fruits, yogurt with fruit and granola, nuts, hard-boiled eggs, health bars, prepackaged salads and pre-packaged meals to heat and eat. If you have a restaurant and can purchase and package these yourself, your customers will respond with their wallets.
- The modern-day kitchen table is now in the back seat of a vehicle for some. To meet this need, I would urge you to offer pre-packaged meals or healthy snacks for kids, such as cheese sticks, fruit drink, a small bag crackers and cheese, fruit cup, banana, nuts, etc. We all know that Lunchables are very popular for kids and you can likely make your own version with some nice twists.
- Give out free samples of your grab -n-go foods to introduce customers to your offerings. Please let me know if you, because I’m all for free food. Just ask Dave Shoemaker!
- Drive by your location as well as your competitors’ locations at night. How do you stack up? Some locations with service centers look closed, especially in winter with doors closed most of the time. Do you see any low-cost improvement opportunities?
- Keep window wash buckets, squeegees clean and fresh. Water with a small amount of soap and sudsy ammonia changed frequently is a low-cost improvement. I like a clean windshield and truly appreciate a location that is paying attention to their forecourt.
- Go to your competitors’ locations and see what they are selling during breakfast, lunch and dinner hours. I would not want you to try and sell everything they are selling, but you can focus on the best sellers and make it taste better.
- Advertise your truck service specials on the entrance doors from fuel islands or above the urinals. Shower rooms are also great locations to draw customers attention to other profit centers.
If you have some great ideas to share please let us know!
// NATSO is here to provide you with products and information to help you navigate all things truckstop and travel center related. These services include site visits to help drive profitability. Other offerings include assistance on new construction, remodels, and branded and unbranded contracts. Travel Center Profit Drivers is led by Darren Schulte and Don Quinn who combined have over 60 years of experience in the truckstop and travel center industry. Their goal is to assist and they are not driven to sell you something. This allows them to have your best interest at heart!
Please contact me at email@example.com to discuss how our team can assist you. Learn more about a Travel Center Profit Toolbox here.
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