What You Missed in the Biz Brief This Week: September 30, 2014

Pilot Proposes New Financing and more...

In today’s information-overloaded business world, we often find ourselves deluged with literally hundreds of news items from dozens of sources. While it is likely impossible to read every article and remain productive, by not doing so we risk missing the one article that could change a key business practice or thought process. And that is where the NATSO Foundation’s publication, Biz Brief, provides assistance! The NATSO Foundation's Biz Brief is a daily collection of the most relevant business intelligence for truckstop and travel plaza operators. 

While we think the Biz Brief is a must-read every day, if you only read ten news articles this week, these ten most-clicked Biz Brief articles are the ten to read. 

  1. Pilot Proposes New Financing 
    Pilot Travel Centers is seeking new revolving credit facilities amounting to a total of $4.45 billion. The credit will consist of a revolving piece in the amount of $1 billion, a term loan of $1.2 billion, which would come due in 2019, and an additional $2.25 billion due in 2021. The proposed debt package has been rated "BB" by Standard & Poor's. Click here to read more >

  2. The NFL-Trucking Industry Connections 
    Seventy-Five years ago, famous NFL quarterback Sid Luckman had a difficult decision. Should he continue his football career following his success at Columbia University or enter the family's trucking business? He leaned toward his trucking option until Chicago Bears' owner George Halas convinced him to give the NFL a try by offering the youngster a $5,500 salary. The rest is Hall of Fame history. The connection continues with Pilot Travel Centers' Jimmy Haslam ownership involvement with the Cleveland Browns. Click here to read more >

  3. Restaurants Slice Menus 
    Over the past decade, long, extensive menus have been in vogue. But that trend is changing as customers make it clear that simpler is better. In recent years International House of Pancakes has dropped more than 30 menu items. Likewise, Tony Roma's has decreased its offerings from 92 to 60 and many others are following suit. The average number of items on a restaurant's menu today is the lowest it has been in eight years. Click here to read more >
  4. August Diesel Deliveries Hit 2014 Low 
    The American Petroleum Institute reported that U.S. deliveries of diesel in August hit the lowest volumes in 2014. The 3.8 million barrel per day level dropped 0.3 percent from July but was 2.7 percent higher than August 2013. Gasoline volumes for August were down 1.5 percent from July and also down 1.2 percent from last August. Click here to read more >

  5. Pilot Seeks Extension for Virginia Location 
    The Pilot Travel Center on Interstate 64 in New Kent, Va., is operating at the site with a conditional use permit that expires in December. The New Kent County Board of Supervisors will consider a 10-year extension as proposed by the jurisdiction's planning commission. Pilot, however, is seeking a 30-year extension similar to what Wilco Hess was granted last year. According to county commissioner Edward Pollard, “Pilot has been good for that area and the county wouldn't like to lose those resources.” Click here to read more >

  6. Residents Seek Noise Relief Near I-95 Commercial Rest Areas 
    Neighbors of two new commercial rest area complexes at Exit 22 on Interstate 95 in Fairfield, Conn., are seeking relief from noise generated by the traffic at the plazas. The developer and operator of the commercial rest areas, Project Services, LLC, said it will build a slotted fence to provide visual relief but claims that a noise barrier would need to be erected at state expense. According to several residents who spoke at a recent public meeting, there are also safety concerns as a rest area visitor recently was found in a neighboring public school locker room.Click here to read more >

  7. Tips to Improve Restaurant Customer Experience 
    Restaurant website Thrill List has put together a list of 28 things that food service operators can do to improve customer experience. Suggestions include: offer split guest checks, provide unisex restrooms, offer samples, make sure your staff knows the menu, streamline the menu, make sure specials are clearly special, keep the water glass full, and monitor the type and volume of music playing in your dining room. Click here to read more >

  8. Ontario Truck Stop Undergoes Renovation 
    The Irving Oil truck stop in Cornwall, Ontario, is about to experience a major face lift. The facility, which sits on Ontario Route 401, is located across the U.S. border from Massena, N.Y. The company plans to expand the fuel-serving capabilities of the site and add a card-lock fueling operation. Additionally, the main retail building, which will include a driver's lounge, c-store and two quick-service restaurants, will be relocated on the property. Click here to read more >
  9. Hedge Funds Bet on Lower Diesel 
    Major hedge funds are counting on significant drops in diesel prices over the next several months. Net-short contracts on ultra-low sulfur diesel fell for the fourth consecutive week and established a record for the most short contracts since the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission began keeping data in 2006. Futures prices on ULSD now have dropped 17 percent since January. Click here to read more >

  10. Ground Beef Hits Record Price 
    The Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that ground beef prices in August hit $4.013 per pound, marking the first time the product has exceeded $4.00. The price has increased by 16 percent in the past year and 3.3 percent between July and August. Just five years ago, ground beef prices were $2.13 per pound. Click here to read more >

I might be biased, but I think if you aren't receiving Biz Brief, you are missing out! Not a subscriber? Be sure to submit a request to be added to the email list. Already receive it and have feedback for me? Be sure to email me at editor@natso.com.

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