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THE MEMBER MAGAZINE OF NATSO, REPRESENTING THE


TRUCKSTOP AND TRAVEL PLAZA INDUSTRY

I DEA
T H E G S HA R I N G
IN
R EAT
WO R K I DEAS!
SHO P

THE NATSO SHOW


HIGHLIGHTS
OR
O
L
F
W
T H E SHO E D W I T H
K
WAS PA C I TO RS
EXHIB

Translating Trucking Trends


into Profitable Action Items
Operators Get Creative
in their Parking Lots
Consumers Slowly Embrace
Mobile Payments

CHAIRMANS LETTER

Focus on Service, Embrace Change

Modified from Don Quinns Speech at The NATSO Show 2016

B
DON QUINN
CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD

Receiving a great idea from an


employeeno matter how big or
smallshows them you value their
opinions and that their contributions
are an important piece in the success
of this company.

eing a leader is more important


today than it ever has been. We
are living in a world where nearly
everything has become commoditized.
People can price check from our aisles.
They see the price of the fuel well before
they pull up to the pump. Weve never
had this multitude of opportunities to
interact with our customers and our
customers have never had more choices
on where they choose to do business.
As a result of all of these options, we
must find something that will make our
locations stand out when compared to our
competitors. One of those differentiators
can be our service. Weve always been a
service-oriented industry, but today it is
not enough to simply serve customers.
Now we must exceed their expectations.
In order to exceed their expectations,
the one element within our day-to-day
operations that we cannot over value is
our staff. Everyone at our locations has to
be committed to also exceeding our customers expectations.
Before our employees can engage our
customers, we have to engage our employees. We have to remember to treat
our employees with the same level of
customer service we ask them to give
our customers.
Because our employees are on the front
lines each day, they know our customers
better than anyone else. Some of the best
ideas within our businesses come from
employees that come to work each day and
do a job on our behalf.
Building strong relationships with our
employees and showing them that we care
about them and respect them gives them a
reason to care for our customers, identify
ways to better serve them and share their
ideas with us.

Receiving a great idea from an employeeno matter how big or smallshows


them you value their opinions and that
their contributions are an important piece
in the success of this company. I am certain
that if you pulled any one of your employees aside and asked them, What is the one
thing I can do to help you better serve our
customers or improve the staffs experience?, they would have a suggestion.
Ask your employees to think through every experience a customer goes through and
share one way you can make it better. The
more that we can craft an experience that
matters to our customers, the more they
will choose to do business with us.
During the Great Ideas! Workshop at
The NATSO Show, we heard dozens of
ideas from our fellow operators. That collaboration extended throughout the show
and operators from all over the country
were together in an environment where
ideas can mingle and swap. We can extend
that throughout the year.
Borrow other peoples hunches and
combine them with your own. Not all
great ideas are handed to you ready to
use, so be flexible in how you think about
using an idea. Look at how you can alter
and adjust something someone else is doing and apply it to your business and your
www.natso.com

CHAIRMANS LETTER
customers. There is no telling what
you might come up with.
Sometimes our ideas are outside
of the normactually, the best ideas
tend to be outside of the norm. But
we cant be afraid to swim upstream.
When we go against the current, we
can find our niche.
But let me tell you, when you decide to go against current, people
will waive you down and try to
stop you.
When Walt Disney tried to distribute Mickey Mouse in 1927,
people told him the idea would never work. Clearly, they were wrong.
Sometimes all you can do is smile
and nod while trudging forward.
As businesses and our operating environment grow and shift, change is
necessary. We have to be open to that

change as there is always opportunity


that exists within it.
Albert Einsteins definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over
again and expecting different results. If
something doesnt work, and not everything will, stop and try something else.
One of the benefits of NATSO
membership is having a group of fellow operators who can provide insight to help us along our journey.
The events NATSO hosts throughout
the year are amazing outlets to help us
step back from our business and look
at our operations in a new light. If
you havent taken part in or signed up
for the domestic study tours, please
consider it. These opportunities will
take you behind the scenes of similar
operations, and industry leaders share
their expertise on site.

There are so many ways NATSO assists operators, but I am a firm believer
that the more you give, the more you
get. The more involved you get with
our industrys association, the more
operators you will meet, the more
vendors you will connect with and the
more you will learn about the opportunities within the industry.
Developing that deeper understanding, increasing your knowledge
and growing your network will pay
great dividends both professionally
and personally.
Best regards,

Don Quinn
Sapp Bros. Travel Centers Inc.
NATSO 2016 Chairman

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WWW.NATSO.COM

MAY/JUNE 2016

THE MEMBER MAGAZINE OF NATSO, REPRESENTING THE TRUCKSTOP AND TRAVEL PLAZA INDUSTRY

C OVE R STO RY
16 The NATSO Show
2016 Highlights

FEATU R E S
08

FOOD SERVICE IS ABOUT


MORE THAN FOOD

09

TRANSLATING TRUCKING
TRENDS INTO PROFITABLE
ACTION ITEMS

Chairman
Don Quinn

Editor
Amy Toner

President & CEO


Lisa J. Mullings

Associate Editor
Mindy Long

Stop Watch is published bimonthly by the NATSO Foundation,


1330 Braddock Place, Suite 501, Alexandria, VA 22314
Copyright 2016 by the NATSO Foundation. All rights reserved. No part of this publication
may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any
means, without written permission of the publisher. All editorial materials are acceptable
and published by Stop Watch on the representation that the supplier is authorized to
publish the entire contents and subject matter. Such entities and/or their agents will
defend, indemnify and hold harmless Stop Watch and the NATSO Foundation from and
against any loss, expense or other liability resulting from claims or suits for libel, violation
of privacy, plagiarism, copyright or trademark infringement and any other claims or suits
resulting from the editorial materials. Periodicals postage 024-723 paid at Alexandria, VA
and other mailing offices.
POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Stop Watch, 1330 Braddock Place,
Suite 501, Alexandria, VA 22314

16

20

D E PARTM E NTS
03

07

23

14

26

THE NATSO SHOW


2016 HIGHLIGHTS

Chairman's Letter
FOCUS ON SERVICE,
EMBRACE CHANGE

06

Great Ideas!
DOES YOUR
TRUCKSTOPS CURB
MESSAGING DRIVE
BUSINESS?

FROM MILKSHAKES
TO MOTORCYCLES:
OPERATORS GET CREATIVE
IN THEIR PARKING LOTS

Compliance Corner
UNDERSTANDING
REQUIREMENTS
SURROUNDING TOBACCO

Foundation Update
THE NATSO FOUNDATION
LAUNCHES ONLINE
TRAINING: HOW
TRUCKSTOPS HELP PEOPLE

We Want to Hear From You!

Do you have comments, ideas or suggestions? Dont hesitate to contact us.


The NATSO Foundation
1330 Braddock Place, Suite 501, Alexandria, VA 22314
Email: editor@natso.com / Phone: (703) 549-2100
http://www.facebook.com/NATSOInc / www.natso.com

24

CONSUMERS SLOWLY
EMBRACE MOBILE
PAYMENTS; LOCATIONS
PREPARE FOR THE FUTURE

Member Profile
CHANGES AT LANCASTER
TRAVEL PLAZA BOOST
CURB APPEAL

Great Ideas in Action


FUEL KING NAPOLEON
TRAVEL CENTER

DARRENS GREAT
Darren Schulte, NATSOs vice president of membership and a retail expert, writes a biweekly retail column on NATSOs
blog. We feature the best here in Stop Watch magazine. Join Schulte on NATSOs website at www.natso.com/great-ideas
to read his digestible retail tips every other Thursday.

DOES YOUR TRUCKSTOPS CURB MESSAGING DRIVE BUSINESS?


Walk outside and look at your own
curb appeal and think about whether
or not your current messages drive
business. Ask yourself:
Are

your pump toppers and/or


MPDs utilized to drive business
into your operation?

Is

there proper focus on


getting outside pay-at-the
pump users inside?

How

do you feel about branded fuel?


How do you think the relationship
with the fuel provider is working?

Often when we think of curb appeal, we


immediately think of cleanliness and the
facilitys maintenance, but it is also important to think about whether your messaging is clear. When someone is driving into your location, can they quickly
figure out exactly where to go and what
you offer? After they get out of their car,
do they know what awaits them inside?
Consumers today are bombarded with
millions of messages. Do your interstate
high-rise signs, street signs, billboards,
building collateral and pump toppers
provide clarity of action? It is important
that every touch point drives the messaging consistently to the customer.
This, consequently, positively enforces
the average ticket growth.

Is

a fuel discount offering


driving business? Are
customers utilizing FRN?

We know nearly all over-the-road drivers enter the store after fueling unless
you have technology that enables
them not to, but what percentage of
fueling gasoline customers enter your
store after fueling? Taking it one step
further, what percentage of those
customers that actually come inside
make additional purchases after fueling and what percentage simply use
the restroom?

HAVE A RETAIL MERCHANDISING, MARKETING OR OPERATIONS QUESTION? Reach out to Schulte at dschulte@natso.com or (703) 739-8562
and hell answer your question in the next Darrens Great Ideas! for Independent Operators.

May/June 2016

COMPLIANCE CORNER
David Fialkov, NATSOs vice president, government relations, legislative and regulatory counsel, frequently provides
regulatory toolkits on key regulatory truckstop and travel plaza issues on NATSOs website. We feature a snapshot of the
full toolkit here in Stop Watch magazine.

UNDERSTANDING REQUIREMENTS SURROUNDING TOBACCO


In addition, tobacco retailers should
only be subject to a single violation for
each inspection. In other words, FDA
should not penalize tobacco retailers for committing multiple violations
resulting from a single inspection.
More specifically, no tobacco retailer
should be fined an amount greater
than $250 for its first fine, and no
more than $500 for its second fine.

All retailers that sell tobacco are subject


to sales and marketing restrictions. Punishments for violations are severe. It is
imperative that all NATSO members that
carry tobacco products understand their
legal obligations as tobacco retailers.
There are several key issues operators
should be aware of.
Regulatory Obligations: In 2009,
Congress passed the Family Smoking
Prevention and Tobacco Control Act,
which gives the Food and Drug Administration the authority to regulate the
manufacture, marketing and retail sale
of cigarettes and smokeless tobacco
products. The FDA is also attempting
to expand its authority to cover e-cigarettes as well as traditional cigarettes.
This could subject e-cigarettes to similar sales and marketing restrictions that
are currently applicable to cigarettes.
Undercover Inspections: The FDA
is currently working with state enforcement agencies to conduct undercover
inspections of tobacco retailers to ensure that they are complying with federal
requirements. At the current time, these
inspections cover underage sales, age

verification, free samples, tobacco discounts and self-service displays.


Tobacco retailers that are fined for failing an FDA inspection must respond
within 30 days of receiving the complaint. In responding, tobacco retailers
will generally have five options at their
disposal: pay the fine in full; request a
conference with the FDA to negotiate a
settlement; request a hearing before an
administrative law judge to challenge
the validity of the allegation; request an
extension of time to respond for good
cause; or do nothing and be subject to
a default judgment.
Violations: In considering how to
respond to a fine and/or complaint,
there are several things tobacco retailers should consider. The Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco
Control Act contains a penalty structure under which penalties increase in
severity for each successive violation
a retailer commitscommitting one violation will lead to increased penalties
for future violations. This is designed
to enable tobacco retailers to correct
problems as they are discovered.

Employee Training: Retailers should


also consider implementing a tobacco
training program for employees, which
can help protect the business and its
customers. The FDA provides for less
severe penalties when retailers have
in place an adequate training program
for employees. These lower penalties
include a warning letter for the first
violation (rather than a fine) and lower
fines for subsequent violations than
would be levied if the retailer did not
have an adequate training program
in place.
The FDA has yet to institute any regulations regarding what types of training
programs are considered adequate
so as to trigger a less severe penalty.
Until it does, the agency will be subjecting all retailers to the reduced penalty schedule as though they had an
adequate training program in place.

GET THE FULL REGULATORY TOOLKIT

NATSO has prepared a document


outlining these issues and more.
The full document is available
only to NATSO members at
www.natso.com/tobaccotoolkit.

www.natso.com

BY MINDY LONG

FOOD
SERVICE
is about

MORE
than

FOOD

hen it comes to food service,


todays consumers are looking
for much more than food. By
tapping into their customers true needs
and wants, truckstop and travel plaza
operators can attract more people and
dig deeper into their wallets when they
come in the door.
During The NATSO Show 2016,
Ed Leddy, a retail, food service and
truckstop expert, shared insights into
industry trends that are shaping food
service today. Those trends can help
operators determine where they want
to excel, but Leddy advised operators
to pick their battles. You cant be all
things to all people, he said.

SPEED OF SERVICE
Speed is often more important than
the actual food consumers are purchasing. Leddy said it is important
to have an offering that consumers
can pick up and take with them.
Speed is of ultimate importance
to the customer today, Leddy said,
adding that fast service appeals to
travelers, truck drivers and locals.
If you were to summarize what
Im talking about today, it is graband-go foods.
Leddy added that todays truck
drivers have two positions in life.
They are either sprinting or pausing, he said. They are either there
to get in or out or because they have
some time to be there.
Leddy suggests operators look at
how theyre using their space. If you
built a 215-seat restaurant 15 years
ago, is that the best use of your space,
Leddy said. Can you do something
else with that?

HEALTHY OPTIONS
Although fast is important, so are
healthy, fresh ingredients. People,
whether they like it or not, are being
8

May/June 2016

forced in the direction of healthy,


Leddy said. People are looking for
better quality, healthier offerings and
speed is an issue.

DAY PARTS
It is important for operators to break
their business down into day parts,
such as breakfast, lunch and dinner,
Leddy said. In designing your offering for breakfast, speed at certain
times of the day is important, he
said, adding that quality is an important component as well.
For example, a better coffee offering can draw customers. Starbucks is
trying to sell some food with breakfast drinks. You probably have the
opportunity to capture those, he
said. Part of the secret is to try and
improve the beverage offering and
improve the food offering. That will
hold throughout the day for you. If
you want to be good at coffee, freshness is important. That means having
the labor and being rush ready.
In the dinner business, operators
have the opportunity to sell some
add-ons. Decide where you want
to be and be the best in that arena,
Leddy said.

SPACE CONSTRAINTS
Leddy said operators have to look
at how their facility is designed. He
said, Is how youre laid out today
the best use of your space?
Today, the food offering is driven
heavily by time constraints, but that
has a direct effect on space constraints. Leddy said. How you lay
out your facility is really important.
If you dont give it enough space,
youre not going to get the results,
he said.

TRANSLATING
S IN TO

T R U C K IN G T R E N D

PROFITABLE

ACTION ITEMS

BY MINDY LONG

he successes and challenges


the trucking industry experiences have a significant effect
on the nations truckstops and travel
plazas, which means staying current on trucking trends is crucial for
businesses that serve drivers. Whats
more, successful truckstop and travel plaza operators know that trends
often result in new opportunities.

Stop Watch sat down with experienced industry leaders to gain


their insights into the latest trucking trends and what they mean for
highway-based businesses.

INCREASED FUEL EFFICIENCY


As fuel efficiency increases and carriers embrace alternative fuels, truckstop
operators will experience reduced demand for diesel fuel, said Roger Cole,
editor of the NATSO Foundations Biz
Brief. The same trend translates into
passenger vehicles as well.
Toyota announced that it wouldnt
be making gasoline passenger cars in
2040. That is 25 years out, but that is
a dot theyve put out there on the calendar, Cole said, adding that Toyota
has said it will pursue electric energy.
Embracing alternative power sources
may be a solution for truckstop and
travel plaza operators looking to diversify their offerings. While I think it is
still too early for many to jump into
the natural gas arena, at the very least

an independent operator ought to be


educating him or herself on electric
charging stations, compressed natural
gas and liquified natural gas and the
dynamics and watching to see when it
is time to make an investment, Cole
said, adding that by educating themselves, operators can determine the
benchmarks that have to be reached
before they make an investment.
Decreasing fuel sales also mean that
operators may seek out ways to spur
sales in other areas of the business.
Jim Goetz, owner-operator of
Petro Travel Plaza in Portage, Wisconsin, and vice president of Goetz
Co., said that although professional
drivers remain a core customer base,
the location is working to increase
other customers, which is working.
Gas prices are down and the number of people working is up, so our
biggest growth has been through
the non-truck driver, Goetz said,
adding that the location has seen an
increase in micro-beer and liquor
sales. We have added liquor sales
for both local traffic and tourists.
Sales of popular Wisconsin beers
have taken off, particularly of Spotted Cow, a beer that is only sold in
Wisconsin, which now accounts for
25 percent of all of Goetzs beer sales.
www.natso.com

THE DRIVER SHORTAGE


Carriers continue to be concerned
over the shortage of professional truck
drivers, which the American Trucking
Associations 2015 Driver Shortage
Analysis estimates was roughly 48,000
at the end of 2015, and could grow to
175,000 by 2024. Over the next decade, the trucking industry will need
to hire a total of 890,000 new drivers,
or an average of 89,000 per year, the
analysis said.
To help attract and retain drivers,
many carriers are paying higher wages,
which could give drivers more disposable income to spend. Most fleets instituted large pay increases in the summer of 2014 with many repeating the
increases again in 2015. Sign-on bonuses are used throughout the industry as well, the analysis said. Expect
driver pay to continue rising as long as
the driver shortage continues.
Carriers are also placing an emphasis on equipment, which could create opportunities within the maintenance shop.
Dan Alsaker, president of Broadway Truck Stops, said the industry
might begin to see an Uber-like
business model for commercial drivers where carriers could rent drivers.
Were going to find a driver with
no truck or trailer. Carriers will be
able to find these folks and use them
as they need them and when they
need them, he said. The truckstops will be magnets for a kiosk or
a venue where carriers can rent drivers. I think that will explode and
some of us will be on the forefront
of that and be able to capitalize on
an Uber-like service.

CHANGING DEMOGRAPHICS OF DRIVERS


The makeup of the professional
driver base is shifting, which could
10

May/June 2016

One of the things we think is


trending are what we used to
call trinketsthe inexpensive
thingswell continue to
do that, but what weve
discovered is that a miniversion of food offeringsa
deli case, a hot case, a cold
caseat our fuel desk will
appeal to the Millennial
generation, Alsaker said.

result in new sales opportunities


for locations.
ATAs 2015 Driver Shortage Analysis reported that today 38.6 percent of drivers are minorities, which
has jumped 12 percentage points
from 26.6 percent in 2001.
Carriers are also working to attract more women to the industry, which ATA said is a large, untapped portion of the population.
Females make up 47 percent of
all U.S. workers, yet only comprise
6 percent of all truck drivers, according to the U.S. Department of
Labor. The share of female drivers
has remained stagnant between 4.5
percent and 6 percent since 2000,
ATA said in its analysis.
Alsaker said more Millennials will
be entering the workforce as drivers. In my mind, Millennials are
people who want to make quick decisions, he said.
That mindset could spur impulse
purchases. One of the things we
think is trending are what we used
to call trinketsthe inexpensive
thingswell continue to do that,
but what weve discovered is that a

mini-version of food offeringsa


deli case, a hot case, a cold caseat
our fuel desk will appeal to the Millennial generation, Alsaker said.
Alsaker said he has been watching
the trend towards food trucks and
thinking through how he could use
them at his locations. Theyre being embraced as a fundamental way
that Millennials are eating, he said.
We see that as a big trend that were
going to try to push our resources
into rather than put in a fixed base.
Alsaker said he envisions having
clusters of food trucks, such as three
to four vans that are in place during
meal times. I am convinced it is going to be part of the landscape sooner rather than later, particularly with
$15 minimum wage. None of us will
be able to afford the traditional family-style restaurant, he said.
We can thank the Millennials for
reminding us convenience is important. Those of us that are able to adapt
will see our results be commensurate
with the outcomes, Alsaker said.

SHORTER LENGTH OF HAUL


In order to cut down on delivery
times, retailers are trying to get closer to their customers and have been
opening smaller, regional distribution centers. More often than not,
they are positioning those distribution centers next to rail lines. They
go out of the distribution center by
truck, but youve cut a lot of miles
out that would have been traditionally carried by truck. That is part of
the demand reduction, Cole said.
Shorter lengths of haul could also
help attract and retain drivers. The
increased prevalence of retail distribution centers and use of the huband-spoke system have drastically
reduced the average length of haul
across the industry; this reduction

in travel distances could and should


translate to less time on the road for
drivers, ATA said in its driver shortage analysis. However, the industry
can only reduce length-of-haul and
increase at-home time so much.
As lengths of haul decrease, operators could see an increase in certain
inside sales, such as food, Cole said.
Tom Heinz, president of Coffee
Cup Fuel Stops, said he has observed
that regional trucking companies are
becoming more concentrated with
multiple trailer types in their fleets,
which allows them to grow their business and haul more products while
staying within the region. This can
be a curse or a blessing to operators in
their market dependent on the proximity from their terminal and the size
of the carrier, he said.

SHIFTING FREIGHT PATTERNS


Freight patterns are shifting, which
is driven, in part, by the movement
of ocean freight from the West Coast
to the East Coast. What do you do
about that? Im not sure there are any
easy answers, but it is all part of the
trend. You may want to start seeking
out alternative sources of revenue,
Cole said, saying additional food
offerings may be an option. It will
likely take looking outside of the box
for something we arent even thinking about today.
Heinz said he has seen that his car
hauler customers seem to be bringing in more foreign cars into the upper Midwest from the port in Jacksonville, Florida. I assume theyre
doing the same in other parts of the
country, Heinz said, adding that he
believes it could be due to the widening of the Panama Canal as well as a
growing number of foreign cars entering the market. For the trucking

industry and operators, it should be


advantageous, Heinz said.
Cole predicts that shifts in production capabilities and new technology, such as 3-D printing, will
also alter fuel use. Today it is happening on a small-scale level, but
I guarantee that in 25 years it will
have a bigger impact on supply
chain, Cole said.

A GREATER FOCUS ON DRIVER HEALTH


There have been a number of initiatives, whether through individual companies or the government,
to improve driver health. Cole said
overall he is seeing a decrease in
the sale of tobacco products, particularly as states increase tobacco
taxes. Indiana is looking to raise
the tax on cigarettes $1 a pack. At
some point, even though it is an
addiction or a habit, when it gets
to be $9 a pack, people will quit
smoking, Cole said. I think you
replace those with more healthy
options, but Im not sure what
they are. Operators may consider
adding more sugar-free candy and
placing it closer to tobacco so your
customer has an option.

INCREASED FUEL TAXES

and not just when issues arise. The


guy that comes along every five years
and says, You have to listen to me,
doesnt hold nearly as much water as
the guy the legislator sees a couple of
times a year, Cole said.

CHANGING REGULATIONS
Drivers have experienced a number
of regulatory changes in the past few
years and more are to come. Electronic logging devices will become
mandatory in 2017, which will likely
alter their stopping habits.
Electronic logging makes it very
difficult for drivers to now say, I
know Im out of hours but there is
a truckstop I want to go to 40 minutes up the road. We may see a lot
of our customers who were routine
customers have to re-plan their days
and stops, Alsaker said. The question becomes what are the alternatives we can provide to help them
plan their trips and schedules?
Heinz said electronic logging devices might be a blessing for operators. We do well when our customers do well. By the information out
there, it looks like electronic logging devices should be good for our
customers, Heinz said, adding that
the devices are reported to reduce

With both state and local governments looking for new sources of
revenue, fuel taxes are likely to increase. There are a lot of counties
that have the option to impose fuel
taxes. Those that can are doing so,
Cole said. If you happen to have a
truckstop in a county that increases
fuel taxes, you are non-competitive
to the truckstop that is 25 miles
down the road in a different county.
To help work with lawmakers,
Cole said independent operators
could become more active in the political process throughout the year
www.natso.com

11

crashes by 12 percent and result in a


drop in speeding and harsh braking
incidents, 25 percent savings in fuel
costs and 30 percent savings in unproductive idling. Assuming these
are true, electronic logging devices
should wring some of the transportation cost out of most things
Americans buy.
In talking with customers, its
likely more trucks will be needed to
haul like amounts of freight, Heinz
said. If so, that will not correlate
into more gallons of diesel sold but
should drive more food sales.
Changing regulations could also
mean drivers are parking longer, which
would give operators more opportunities to boost sales. If you have highspeed Wi-Fi at your sites, you can possibly charge for it, Heinz said.

While operators are waiting to see


exactly how e-logs will affect the industry, operators said hours-of-service regulations have also made drivers time more valuable. Heinz has
embraced several tools that can help
him serve customers faster. Were
trying to make our locations more
user friendly and trying to provide
the latest technology at the dispensers and the fuel desk so they dont
have to wait in line if they dont want
to, Heinz said. In our food courts,
were trying to make sure were
staffed properly at the right times.
Alsaker said he has seen a move
toward expanded convenience for
drivers as some locations that once
offered fuel with limited services
are actually adding services. Weve
seen a shift from super convenience
to really expanded convenience to

where it is almost a full-service location with tire shops.


Heinz said ELDs as well as hoursof-service regulations might also result in increased hotel stays for drivers.
Comdatas recent announcement of
its Comdata Hotel Network Payment
System with hotel discounts to drivers
using their card for payment suggests
HOS will increase the use of hotel
rooms, Heinz said.

INCREASED DEMAND FOR DEF


Newer equipment requires diesel exhaust fluid, and sales of DEF will increase as fleets turn over their equipment. Goetz said his location has
seen growth in DEF bulk sales. As
new equipment was purchased, the
amount of bulk DEF gallons went
up. The ROI there has been positive, he said.

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NEW MEMBERS
NEW TRAVEL PLAZA MEMBERS
COLUMBUS WEST TRAVEL CENTER
2200 W James St.
Columbus, WI 53925
PHONE: (920) 296-9327
CONTACT: Richard Sheard

CUBBYS
1303 Tahazouka Dr.
Norfolk, NE 68701
PHONE: (402) 371-5337
CONTACT: Delone Wilson

EZ TRAVEL PLAZA
706 Moss Hammock Way
Sugar Land, TX 77479
PHONE: (832) 875-0257
CONTACT: Ali Dadwani

FREDS FUEL N FOOD


620 U.S. Hwy 24 W
Gilman, IL 60938
PHONE: (312) 282-1060
CONTACT: David Schwalb

GENEVA TRUCK STOP LLC


17458 Smock Dr.
Cochranton, PA 16314
PHONE: (412) 721-6014
CONTACT: Robert Bolea

GET-N-GO #22
4915 N Cliff
Sioux Falls, SD 57104
PHONE: (605) 338-7676
CONTACT: Dave Vande Kamp

L.W.S TRUCK STOP


P.O. Box 512
Logan, UT 84323
PHONE: (800) 800-0433
CONTACT: Brent Miller

LITTLEFIELD EXPRESS #2
3401 Cavanaugh Rd.
Fort Smith, AR 72908
PHONE: (479) 646-0595
CONTACT: Aaron Littlefield

NATIVE PRIDE TRAVEL PLAZA


P.O. Box 375
Irving, NY 14081
PHONE: (716) 934-5136
CONTACT: Mark Tufillaro

OASIS TRAVEL CENTERBERNARDO


6701 U.S. Hwy 90
Sealy, TX 77474
PHONE: (979) 732-2986
CONTACT: Britt Jones

ONE ENERGY TRAVEL CENTER


116 Washington St.
Plainville, MA 02762
PHONE: (508) 460-1010
CONTACT: Mark Diarbakerly

RENO JUNCTION TRAVEL PLAZA

BIOBLENDING.COM BY ALL-LINE EQUIPMENT INC.

P.O. Box 566


Wright, WY 82732
PHONE: (307) 670-0526
CONTACT: Reashell L. Sherman

P.O. Box 5257


Quincy, IL 62305
PHONE: (217) 224-9725
FAX: (217) 222-0245
CONTACT: Steve Disselhorst
EMAIL: steve@bioblending.com
WEBSITE: www.bioblending.com

RT66 FOOD N FUEL


2401 S. Chicago St.
Joliet, IL 60436
PHONE: (815) 274-5591
CONTACT: Greg McLemen

NEW ASSOCIATE MEMBERS


ABA PROPERTIES LLC
P.O. Box 80476
Bakersfield, CA 93380
PHONE: (661) 324-7500
CONTACT: Alan Adler

CALAMP
1365 Dulles Technology Dr.
Suite 200
Herndon, VA 20171
PHONE: (703) 262-4028
CONTACT: Toby Weir-Jones

COLORADO 25 TRAVEL PLAZA


P.O. Box 117
Larkspur, CO 80118
PHONE: (303) 898-4365
CONTACT: Tim Dumler

QUICK FUEL FLEET SERVICES


11815 W Bradley Rd.
Milwaukee, WI 53224
PHONE: (800) 522-6287
CONTACT: Shelley Brannan

RICKY ROCKETS FUEL CENTER


399 Wall St., Unit H
Glendale Heights, IL 60139
PHONE: (630) 894-0099
CONTACT: Rick Heidner

NEW ALLIED MEMBERS


ABB INC.
16250 W. Glendale Dr.
New Berlin, WI 53151
PHONE: (262) 395-1773
CONTACT: Heather Flanagan
EMAIL: heather.flanagan@us.abb.com
WEBSITE: www.abb.com/evcharging

ACI WORLDWIDE
536 15th Ave., N.E.
St. Petersburg, FL 33704
PHONE: (727) 515-8555
CONTACT: Allison Kazerounian
EMAIL: allison.kazerounian@
achworldwide.com
WEBSITE: www.aciworldwide.com

CHEWPOD USA
P.O. Box 642081
Los Angeles, CA 90064
PHONE: (844) 500-2439
FAX: (310) 775-9756
CONTACT: Chris Tolos
EMAIL: chris.tolos@chewpod.com
WEBSITE: www.chewpod.com

CORE-MARK
P.O. Box 690
Veradale, WA 99037
PHONE: (509) 535-9768
FAX: (509) 535-6204
CONTACT: Mike Palelek
EMAIL: mpalelek@core-mark.com
WEBSITE: www.core-mark.com

DONT 4 GET ABOUT ME


FOR DOGS ON THE GO
1205 Branson Landing
Branson, MO 65616
PHONE: (847) 456-0408
CONTACT: Douglas DuBrock
EMAIL: doug@dont4getaboutme.com
WEBSITE: www.dont4getaboutme.com

SKYLINE PRODUCTS
2903 Delta Dr.
Colorado Springs, CO 80910
PHONE: (719) 884-3752
FAX (719) 392-2075
CONTACT: Cooper Hollmaier
EMAIL: cooperhollmaier@skylineproducts.com
WEBSITE: www.skylineproducts.com

STAYHOLD USA
5657 45th St.
West Palm Beach, FL 33407
PHONE: (516) 227-4094
FAX: (561) 227-4599
CONTACT: Dean Mazzola
EMAIL: dean@stayhold.com
WEBSITE: www.stayhold.com

TRUCK SMART PARKING SERVICES INC.


4195 Central St.
Detroit, MI 48210
PHONE: (313) 338-9666
FAX: (313) 297-7788
CONTACT: Christopher Wright
EMAIL: cwright@rucksmartparkingservices.com
WEBSITE: www.rucksmartparkingservices.com

www.natso.com

13

FOUNDATION UPDATE

The NATSO Foundation Launches Online Training:


How Truckstops Help People
BY TIFFANY WLAZLOWSKI NEUMAN

he
NATSO
Foundation
launched a new online learning
initiative designed to strengthen
the nations truckstop and travel plaza
industry by delivering comprehensive
educational and safety training materials to truckstop owners, operators
and employees.
With an initial focus on How
Truckstops Help People, the NATSO Foundations first online training
suite will offer four e-learning courses
designed to help teach members of
the truckstop and travel plaza industry how to respond to requests for
help from people in need of assistance
in various life-threatening scenarios.
The first module titled The
Role of Truckstops in Combating
Human Trafficking launched in
January in support of National
Human Trafficking Awareness month
and teaches truckstop owners, operators and employees the warning signs
of human trafficking and how to help
a potential victim.
A second 30-minute course titled
How Truckstops Help the Homeless
teaches how to assist someone who may
be experiencing homelessness or who
is without resources at your location.

Would your staff know how to help


a victim of human trafficking?
Someone in distress?
Homeless? Stranded during a
natural disaster?
14

May/June 2016

Additional courses planned will


focus on how to help a driver suffering distress and how to respond to a
natural disaster.

THE CRITICAL ROLE TRUCKSTOP


EMPLOYEES PLAY
Truckstops and travel plazas nationwide play an integral role in the communities in which they operate. Assisting those who may be experiencing
homelessness or who may be a victim
of human trafficking is one step that
the truckstop community can collectively take to make a meaningful
impact on the lives of people who
need help. As businesses that cater to
the traveling public and support local
communities, truckstops and travel
plazas are in a unique position to help.

PLEDGE TO TRAIN YOUR EMPLOYEES


The NATSO Foundation is asking every
member of the truckstop and travel plaza
industry to join in its educational mission of training the industry in how to
respond to requests for help to ensure
that every member of the truckstop industry is prepared to respond.
Truckstops and travel plazas are asked
to commit to training their employees
using the NATSO Foundations new
online training courses in the How
Truckstops Help People series.
Through the NATSO Foundations online training tools, truckstops nationwide now have a new
avenue for expanding their knowl-

FOUNDATION UPDATE

Were taking meaningful action to ensure that


the truckstop industry is prepared to respond . The
truckstop and travel plaza industry takes seriously
the fight against human trafficking, and our goal is to
provide our members with the tools they need to train
their staff so that those individuals are equipped to help
if they encounter a victim of this horrible crime.
JENNY LOVE MEYER, NATSO FOUNDATION CHAIRMAN

edge base and supplementing their


own employee training.
Members of the truckstop and travel
plaza community are asked to sign the
pledge today!

THE RIPPLE EFFECT OF CARING


Not only does taking an active role
of helping those in need benefit communities, it can have a wide-reaching
benefit as well. More than 80 percent
of U.S. consumers consider corporate
responsibility when deciding where
to spend their money. Whats more,
most companies success is impacted by the health of the community
around them and employees are more
loyal to companies that play an active
role in socially responsible issues.

WHO CAN USE THE COURSE?


The NATSO Foundations online
education courses are available free

of charge to anyone in the nations


truckstop and travel plaza community
on the NATSO Foundations Learning
Management System. A userID and
password to NATSOs website is
required. Users unsure of their NATSO
website log-in or in need of an account
can contact NATSOs Manager of
Travel Plaza Member Services
Kimberly Roberts at (703) 739-8573
or kroberts@natso.com. Courses can
be accessed at http://www.natso.com/
onlinelearning.

For more information, contact NATSO


Senior Director of Public Affairs and
Communications Tiffany Wlazlowski
Neuman at (703) 739-8578 or
twlazlowski@natso.com.

DONATE TODAY!
The NATSO Foundation continues to seek the critical funds necessary to develop the online training courses in the How Truckstops Help People series.
By donating to the NATSO Foundations online learning initiative, you will
help to strengthen the nations truckstop and travel plaza industry by delivering comprehensive educational and safety training materials to truckstop
owners, operators and employees. Donate today at http://www.natso.com/
natsofoundation/safety_training_program.

WHAT YOU WILL LEARN


After completing How Truckstops
Help the Homeless, users will be
able to:
Understand the causes of
homelessness;
Comprehend the different
types of homelessness;
Recognize the benefits of
helping the homeless for
your truckstop and your
community; and
Assist someone in your
location who may be
experiencing homelessness or
is without resources.
After completing The Role
of Truckstops in Combating
Human Trafficking users will be
able to:
Define human trafficking;
Understand the risks to business;
Learn steps to take to manage
those risks;
Recognize populations
vulnerable to human trafficking;
Recognize signs of
human trafficking; and
React to a suspected incidence
of human trafficking at
their location.

www.natso.com

15

HIGHLIGHTS

Key leaders in the truckstop and travel plaza industry


and their suppliers came face to face at The NATSO
Show 2016 in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, in February,
exchanging ideas and uncovering new solutions to
improve their operations and plan for the future.

POWERFUL REMARKS
FROM NATSOS CHAIRMAN
NATSOs Chairman Don Quinn urged
members to focus on service and
embrace change.
>> Learn more on page 3

NATSOS GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS COMMIT TEE TOOK


CENTER STAGE
Attendees heard the inside-the-beltway scoop on the biggest government
affairs issues facing the industry.
16

May/June 2016

GREAT TIMES ON THE


GOLF COURSE

Golfers woke early on Monday to have


a great time on the golf course while
supporting the NATSO Foundations
program of work.

TWO EDUCATIONAL TRACKS TO


GROW YOUR BUSINESS
NATSO U brought four educational sessions
designed to provide good ideas to improve
operational performance and business training.

SNAP LEARNING DELIVERED


20-MINUTE POWER SESSIONS
From RINs to merchandising, Snap Learning
provided several power sessions.
>> Learn more on page 8

THE BEST INDUSTRY


NETWORKING
Connections happened
throughout the conference.

IDEA SHARING IN THE


GREAT IDEAS! WORKSHOP
More than 150 independent
operators shared and
gathered ideas in this
annual show favorite.

www.natso.com

17

SAVE THE DATE FOR


THE NATSO SHOW 2017
Save the date and make plans
to attend next years show
Jan. 2124, 2017, in
Savannah, Georgia.

MICKEY MOUSE,
TOWER OF TERROR
AND GOOD
NETWORKING
Attendees enjoyed an
evening immersed in the
magic of Disney during the
pinnacle social event of this
years show.

FLOOR PACKED WITH GREAT NEW


PRODUCTS AND SERVICES
107 companies packed the floor showcasing
bold new products and innovative solutions.

KEYNOTES
Five ahead-of-the-curve keynote
presenters engaged attendees.
18

May/June 2016

NATSO AND THE NATSO FOUNDATION THANK SPONSORS


FOR THEIR SUPPORT OF THE NATSO SHOW 2016

SPONSORS

GOLD SPONSORS

SPONSOR

PLATINUM

SCALE

BEVERAGE CART AND HOLE SPONSORS

CAT

THE NATSO FOUNDATION


GOLF TOURNAMENT SPONSORS
TITLE SPONSOR

THE NATSO SHOW


2016 SPONSORS

CAT
SCALE

NATSO thanks the North American Truck Stop Network (NATSN) and
AMBEST for co-locating their board of directors meetings with NATSO.

www.natso.com

19

FROM MILKSHAKES TO MOTORCYCLES:

OPERATORS GET CREATIVE

n todays operating environment,


truckstop and travel plaza operators are working to appeal to
a wide range of customers. Several
NATSO members are changing the
way they use space within their parking lots, turning extra space into innovative profit centers.
Darren Schulte, vice president of
membership for NATSO, said there
are several ways operators can monetize their lots, such as adding deer
feed during hunting season, selling
Christmas trees during the holidays
or stacking up firewood to sell.
There are a number of things owners can add to draw people to the location and generate revenue from other
areas of the store, he said. We have
these big parking spaces and most of us
dont utilize them properly.
Stop Watch sat down with a handful
of operators who are getting creative
with their parking lot space. Here are
10 ways NATSO members are making
their parking lots more attractive to customers and boosting revenue as a result.
20

May/June 2016

COFFEE KIOSKS
Donnas Travel Plaza in Tulalip,
Washington, has had a coffee kiosk in its parking lot since the late
1980s and added a drive-up window
to it in 1993 that four-wheel traffic
and some box trucks can use. Class
8 truck drivers can use the walk-up
service at the kiosk.
Brian Couch, owner of the location,
said the coffee culture in Washington
state is unique. There are probably
more coffee stands/kiosks/shops in the
Seattle area than there are in the rest of
the country combined. There may be
as many as one per 500 to 1,000 people in this state, Couch said, adding
that the kiosk does enough business to
justify having it open from 4:30 a.m.
to around 11 p.m.
We sell espresso and related
drinksmochas, lattes, etc.hot, cold
and blended. We also sell several bakery
goods, donuts, bagels, oatmeal, etc.,
Couch said. One of the more unlikely things we do is that we do a handdipped milkshakecoffee or flavored.

LOCKSMITH
Donnas Travel Plaza also features a locksmith in a temporary
trailer in the parking lot.

MOTORCYCLE COURSE
Lee Hi Travel Plaza in Lexington,
Virginia, has painted a motorcycle
training course on a portion of its secured parking lot. The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles uses the
space four to six times a year to run
a motorcycle training class. People
drive over it and forget about it when it
is not in use, said Corey Berkstresser,
manager of the location.

CONTRACTED AND LEASED


PARKING SPACES
LaPlace Travel Plaza in LaPlace, Louisiana, had a number of local drivers
parking their trucks in the lot and
driving their cars home. To avoid having unattended vehicles taking up
space, Mike Sibley, president of the
location, reached out to the drivers
and let them know that hed be happy

IN THEIR PARKING LOTS


to provide a space for them to leave
their trucks as long as they purchase
1,000 gallons of fuel per month. If
they havent purchased 1,000 gallons
of fuel a month from us, then they pay
us to lease the space, Sibley said.
Within its secure lot, Lee Hi Travel
Plaza leases space to several trucking
companies who use the space as a
mini-hub. Lee Hi also rents the companies office space within the location. There was a small office space
that we werent using. Leasing it out is
income generated, Berkstresser said.
Sapp Bros. leases space to trucking companies in three locations.
For not much money, they have
your parking lots and access to your
amenities, said Don Quinn, president of the company. He added that
Sapp Bros. also leases inside space to
a barber, a vape shop operator, dentist and chiropractor.

PICNIC AREAS
The Coffee Cup location in
Stihl, South Dakota, has added ca

banas with solar lights in them. Our


choice was to make more parking
spaces or use some of the property for
a park. You have a tradeoff of what is
going to provide the most benefit,
Heinz said, adding that the park is
about the space of six or seven parking spaces. We could have had those
spaces or a park that several thousands of customers a day can use. We
decided were going to try it and see
what kind of usage it gets.

DOG PARKS
Davis Travel Center in Stony
Creek, Virginia, added a dog park to
an empty piece of land at the location.
I cant tell you how many customers
comment on this dog park. We have
added more treats to our store set for
the pets, which has increased our store
sales in the pet category, said Bill
Decker, manager of the location. Our
dog park has really been a big boost as
word gets out from our visiting guest.
Family members telling other members
is a great deal for us.

BY MINDY LONG

The Coffee Cup location in Stihl


also features a dog run. A huge percentage of driversfour wheelers and
professional drivershave pets. We
want to make sure when people are
coming through the area, they have a
place to stop at, Heinz said.

CAR AND TRUCK SHOWS


Berkstresser hosts a number of
car and truck shows throughout the
year, which present an opportunity to
bring new customers into the location.
We have a group in Rockford County
that puts on a car show to raise money.
The opportunity to host it gets the restaurant business and the store sales for
people that are there showing their cars
or that are there to see the cars, Berkstresser said.
Lee Hi works with LargeCarMag to
host a truck show, with the most recent show featuring 200 trucks.
Berkstresser also works with car and
motorcycle clubs to be a featured stop
on their drives. We had a car club that
came over from Lynchburg and met at
www.natso.com

21

the truckstop. I didnt get anything for


giving them a spot to park their cars,
but just about everyone40 people
ate at the restaurant, he said. Weve
worked with motorcycle clubs and the
riders come through and check in at
Lee Hi as they go through the different
check points.

VISITOR INFORMATION
Muralt's Travel Plaza in Missoula, Montana, has added a visitor
information booth on its lawn. Certified Folder stocks the booth with
brochures about Montana and other
points of interest, said Walt Muralt,
owner of the location.

BOTTLED WATER
Sacramento 49er in Sacramento, California, sells bottled water at
the entrance and exit of its secured
parking lot. Tristen Griffith, man-

ager of the location, said having


water for sale as customers leave
provides one final opportunity for
a sale. The location also has dog
biscuits available for drivers traveling with pets.

CELL TOWERS
Sapp Bros. has placed cell towers on its property to generate additional income, Quinn said. Those
opportunities are certainly there.
Obviously you have to have a place
in your parking lot you have to protect, Quinn said.
When the most recent tower was
built, Sapp Bros. agreed to abate the
rent for a period of time and then
will take ownership of the tower. It
is $150,000 to put it up and then
they get deferred rent for 10 years
or so. They will sign it over to us,
Quinn said.

BONUS IDEAS: CHICK-FIL-A, POPCORN, FUNNEL CAKE AND SODA BAR!


Sometimes the best ideas come from outside the industry. Darren Schulte, vice president
of membership for NATSO, has seen innovative kiosks and vending machines in many
different retail and non-retail operations during his travels.
Adding revenue sources to a parking lot enables operators to improve their campus
net-operating-cost by using parts of location that may not be producing any value to
the operation," Schulte said. "Adding out of the box ideas to your parking lot can be a
differentiation between you and your competition," he added.
It could also change the demographic of who visits the location. "For example, if your current
location demographic is 99 percent male, a drive-through popcorn kiosk may just change that
up, Schulte said. What about a drive-through cupcake kiosk or cosmetic kiosk?"
With time being an issue for everyone, especially for those in vehicles, it is critical to look for
reasons for customers to stop and spend money. Schulte said, "Everyone sells fuel, most of us
sell food, and all of us have restrooms, so what else within your operational parameters can you
execute that makes you quicker, cleaner, different and more special?"
22

May/June 2016

CHANGES AT LANCASTER TRAVEL PLAZA

BOOST CURB APPEAL


BY MINDY LONG AND AMY TONER

t Lancaster Travel Plaza in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, a kids' play


area, a water fountain and new
landscaping all add to the curb appeal,
drawing in four-wheel and professional
drivers alike. The changes were all part
of a renovation that took place under
the locations new owner, Anil Jivani,
who purchased the location in 2012.
Jivani addressed a number of
maintenance, employee and customer service issues. We added a
Subway restaurant, improved our
customer service and tackled a big
list of merchandising improvements. We received a big response
from all that work, Jivani said. All
this helped increase the number of
gallons the location sells to 300,000
from 70,000. He also credits their
success to their association with
AMBEST and NATSO.
As part of the renovation, Lancaster
Travel Plaza added LED lighting both
on the fuel islands and inside the
store. They also installed solar panels
using funding from federal and state
grants. It will take six to seven years

to recoup the equipment cost on the


solar panels and then their electricity
needs will be completely supported by
the solar farm. Visit www.natso.com/
lancastersolarfarm to learn more about
their solar farm great idea.
The owner also added diesel exhaust
fluid and air pumps. He redid the concrete and curbs, renovated the pylon
sign and added a message board. He
has plans to unbrand their diesel.
In addition to attracting families,
travelers and professional drivers, Lancaster Travel Plaza also works to attract
tour buses. The location offers a complimentary meal and coffee refills for
the tour operators and bus drivers.
Morning and lunchtime are the
busiest times of the day at the location, in part due to the Subway restaurant. Truck drivers often grab a
subway sandwich or a small snack,
Jivani said.
To prepare for the lunch rush, Lancaster Travel Plaza ensures all shifts are
covered properly and makes sure that
highly trained employees are available
during the peak hours.
www.natso.com

23

CONSUMERS
SLOWLY EMBRACE
MOBILE PAYMENTS;
L O C AT I O N S P R E P A R E F O R T H E F U T U R E

growing number of companies


are offering mobile-payment
applications, and although the
majority of consumers still rely on
traditional payment methods, some
truckstop and travel plaza operators
are preparing for the future and embracing the technology now.
Davis Travel Center in Stony
Creek, Virginia, has been preparing
to implement a mobile app at its
Starbucks. We just upgraded our
point-of-sale system in the last eight
or so months for this reason, said
Bill Decker, manager of the location.
Decker said the location will roll
out the app soon, and the implementation will be relatively seamless
on his end. We will be contacted by
Starbucks and they will download the
software to our register POS system
and we will be ready to go, he said.
Tom Heinz, president of Coffee
Cup Fuel Stops, said all of the fuel dispensers the company buys have mobile payment capability, but the pointof-sale for the branded gasoline wont
have the capability until mid-2016.
As soon as they do, well be accepting the Apple Pay on our gas island,

24

May/June 2016

he said. We think that will give us a


great competitive advantage.
Customers at Coffee Cup Fuel
Stops Caribou Coffee are embracing
the coffee chains mobile app, said Ericka Schapekahm, director of human
resources and special projects at the
Coffee Cup Fuel Stops. Caribous app
functions as a perks card and a payment option by loading it with your
credit card. You can set it up to reload
automatically or manually when your
balance gets low, she said. If the
guest has a reward waiting, it will send
email and text to let you know.
Schapekahm said Caribou customers like that they dont have to
carry a perks card or coupon or dig
through email for a special offer.
However, Schapekahm said the
same has not held true for mobile
apps at its other food service offerings,
including Subway and Pizza Hut.
Schapekahm said the location
went live with its Subway app in
the fall, but the response has been
underwhelming. Very few of our
guests are using the Subway app,
which allows you to order online
and prepay, she said, adding that

Subway also has mobile pay at the


point of sale, utilizing iPay and Android Pay, but very few guests use it.
My personal thoughts on professional driver use is that they like the
interaction with the team members,
which does not make using the app
to preorder appealing, she said.
Coffee Cup Fuel Stops Pizza Hut
utilizes an iPad with Square technology, but because it is a self-serve
kiosk, customers rarely stop to pay
there and instead move on for sodas
and other snacks.
Coffee Cup Fuel Stops is working
to educate guests about the app, and
Schapekahm said she sees younger
drivers using the technology much
more than baby boomers.
Darren Schulte, vice president of
membership for NATSO, said, A lot
of people are talking about the benefits of mobile pay apps, but very few
people are using them.
Schulte said some NATSO members have said they dont use the
apps because their primary customer
basedriverscant use them while
driving. They could, however, tap
into the passenger in a four-wheel vehicle or professional drivers who are
standing in line at the fuel desk or doing their laundry, he said.
Taryn Brice-Rowland, NATSOs
director of member engagement, said
that although the penetration of mobile apps isnt high today, it will be an
expectation in the near future. Millennial kids today are growing up with
cell phones and expect to be able to
pay with their cell phone, she said.
It is about meeting their expectations
and those that come after them.
Parker Burke, director of payment
and marketing applications for Gilbarco Veeder-Root, said that retailers
are beginning to lean towards adoption of contactless/near-field-commu

nication-based technologies to support mobile payments.


Generally, retailers looking to provide their customers with a wide form
of payment options, coupled with
driving their loyalty programs across
their customer base have expressed
interest in providing various mobile
payment options to their consumerbase, Burke said.
He added that with the rollout of the
EMV shift in the U.S.the Visa and
MasterCard transition aligning credit
and debit cards in the United States
with those companies proprietary
chipretailers may look at contactless/NFC payments as a way to provide
a more similar transaction experience
to what consumers know today as the
tap of a phone more closely resembles
the swipe of a magnetic-stripe card.
Brice-Rowland said, As folks are
updating for EMV, they should
make sure theyre updating for contactless payment options.
Burke said mobile payment apps
could help retailers that are looking
for ways to drive successful loyalty
programs.In broad retail, loyalty
sign-ups and active usage has been
steadily increasing, but in the retail
petroleum industry, loyalty signups are flat with active usage slightly
down, he said, adding that progressive operators have been adopting

technologies, including mobile applications, outdoor media and indoor


consumer engagement platforms,
such as Gilbarcos Impulse system.
Brice-Rowland said the mobile payment app LevelUp combines the payment option with a loyalty program.
Theyll work with a vendor to create
an app of their own with decent functionality, but still allow customers to
use the generic LevelUp app for payment and loyalty, she said.
Burke recommends operators work
with their payment provider to ensure
they can accept contactless payments
and deploy contactless/NFC terminals to their POS or fuel dispensers.
Operators have a number of options when it comes to the type of
mobile pay technology they can use,
such as Apple Pay, LevelUp, Samsung
Pay and Android Pay, Brice-Rowland
said. Those platforms often appeal
to consumers because they can be
used at multiple places as opposed to
needing an app for each store.
People will put one-off apps on
their phone until they start running low on space and then the
low-value apps get cut, BriceRowland said. For example, once
I start running out of space, the
Auntie Annes app is going, but Ill
keep LevelUp because I can use it
at multiple places, she said.

MOBILE PAYMENT RESOURCES


Learn more about mobile payment technology at these sites:

Apple Pay
www.apple.com/apple-pay/
Android Pay
www.android.com/pay/
CurrentC
www.currentc.com/

LevelUp
www.thelevelup.com/
Samsung Pay
www.samsung.com/us/samsung-pay/
Square
www.squareup.com/
www.natso.com

25

GREAT IDEAS IN ACTION

Where: Fuel King


Napoleon Travel
Center
GREAT IDEA:
CLOTHING DONATION DROPOFF
At their location in Napoleon, Ohio,
owners Jack and Paul Grewal had
heard from drivers looking to donate jackets at the end of the season
so they could avoid hauling them
around for an entire year. The drivers didnt want to simply throw away
the jackets, and the Grewals wanted
to help facilitate drivers generosity.
Now Fuel King Napoleon Travel
Center serves as a donation dropoff point in conjunction with Planet
Aid. Drivers have said they make a
point to fuel at the location because
of the donation box, creating a winwin situation for the travel center,
drivers and those in need.

MAKE MORE
MONEY WITH

CAT Scale can help you bring


more money to your bottom
line. CAT Scale is the worlds
leader in public certified truck
scales. Professional drivers
seek out locations that have
CAT brand scales to weigh
their loads. No start-up costs.
Easy to operate.

www.catscale.com | 1-877-CAT-SCALE (228-7225)


26

May/June 2016

HAVE A GREAT IDEA YOU WANT TO SUBMIT?

Send a high-resolution picture of your


locations great idea and the story behind
it to Amy Toner at atoner@natso.com.

1960

NATSO CheckLink is NATSOs


longest-standing
program

On any day Monday through Friday, there


is an average of 505 independent drivers
paying for truckstop products and services
using NATSO Check-Link

NATSO
CHECK-LINK

ACCEPTED HERE
checklink@natso.com
www.natso.com

$51$125
MILLION

Truckstops and travel


plazas accept NATSO
Check-Link in the U.S.

24-HOUR SUPPORT
(800) 956-9160

Depending on the price of diesel


fuel, NATSO Check-Link drivers
are spending between $51 and
$125 million dollars annually in
truckstops and travel plazas

$388

The average
amount for a check
written by a NATSO
Check-Link driver

NATSO Check-Link is a unique check verification program available only to NATSO


members. The program allows participating truckstops nationwide to accept
checks from pre-approved drivers. Learn more at www.natso.com/checklink.