Wendi Powell, co-owner of Big Boys Truck Stop in Kenley, North Carolina, knows that travel centers need to be all things to all people, and she tries to create solutions that appeal to all types of customers, whether they are locals, the traveling public or professional drivers.
“The more creatively we can make the mix work, the better for us,” Powell said.
Although convenience and time are always important, local customers love favorites while travelers like experiences. “It's my goal to create a mix,” Powell said.
At Busy Bee, a regional chain of travel centers in Florida, local customers are in the store weekly and form close relationships with the locations and teams. “We see them coming in to not only to fill up their cars, but also meet daily/weekly needs from grocery items to our locally made cakes,” said Elizabeth Waring, president of Busy Bee. “However, with our traveling guests the needs slightly vary. When they stop in at our facility, they are there to fill a more immediate need. We have tried to build those relationships so that as they travel they look to us first to fill that—or empty that.” More