Truck stop trends that ensure you stay on top with better service, features and convenience.
With thousands of truck stops and travel centers in the United States, competition for drivers’ business is fierce. As a driver pulls off the interstate, they often have a choice of turning left or right to go to competing fuel stations. Sometimes, they choose one because they like the double deluxe bacon burger, or the showers are just a bit cleaner at the other one. However, there are deeper trends below the surface that truck stop operators need to know to keep the trucks rolling in and the profit margins stable. Here’s a look at the top 5 truck stop trends you need to know now:
#1 Truck Stop Trend: Expanding Parking Options
Truck drivers spend up to 56 minutes a day looking for parking, leading some drivers to quit the business, according to NATSO. Drivers lose on average $4,600 in compensation per year because of the parking shortage. Truck stops that can take steps to accommodate more drivers can develop long-term loyalty and repeat business. The future trend may call for truckers to pay to reserve a spot, which could fund additional parking spaces.
Anticipate Truck Driver Needs
It turns out a lot of drivers enter a truck stop only when they have to. They come in for a fuel stop and head to the parking lot to rest. A truck stop could be missing out on significant revenues. That’s where the concept of preemptive distribution comes in. Truck stops can reach out to provide the customer with what they want in the right place at the right time.
Truck stops could position employees at the fueling islands to ask drivers if they could bring them anything to eat or drink, or small personal items. The truck stop would then capture the revenue that they might otherwise lose when the trucker drives somewhere else for breakfast. Or you could position snacks and drinks outside near the fuel islands so it’s easier to grab some items instead of coming in the store, enabling the driver to get back on the road sooner with a hot meal or a snack.
Appoint Truck Driver Champions for Faster Service
Time is money, so appoint driver champions that welcome drivers to the store, work the fuel islands and parking lots, help direct traffic and support fuel transactions. Mobile payment devices work as line busters, as employees walk around and handle transactions on the spot. Technology doesn’t decrease service; it can improve the personal touch and keep drivers coming back to a store that doesn’t waste their time.
Accepting Visa/MasterCard at the Diesel Island
Most truck stops don’t have to be locked into accepting only fleet cards at the diesel island. Many truckers nowadays use Visa/MasterCard fleet cards to take advantage of competitive rewards programs. Diesel islands that do not accept Visa/MasterCard are losing revenue of this increasingly popular market.
For most truck stops, it’s time to upgrade Trendar to one of the current Comdata POS systems. Comdata has equipment upgrade options for those truck stops that not only accept credit cards at the pump but also stops that only accept payments within the store as well as unattended sites.
The experts at FFS are ready to partner with you on getting ahead of the latest truck stop trends. We work with branded and unbranded truck stops to assist with technology upgrades and consult on all payment acceptance practices. Contact Financial Fuel Services today!