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Interstate Travel Center

Strategy and Implementation Summary

Interstate Travel Center’s strategy is to develop a major travel center in Dallas, Texas. The center will consist of a major convenience store, gas/diesel islands, restaurant, and amenities for the trucking business. Key components of the company’s initial strategy are summarized as follows:

  • Advertising. Promote the new business through extensive advertising.
  • Location. Provide a clean, safe and appealing location for travelers.
  • Convenient center. Provide a convenient center with a full array of products and services for those that are traveling as well as for the citizens of Dallas and the surrounding communities.
  • One-stop shop. Be the one-stop shop for travelers to and from Dallas.
  • NAFTA trucking trade business. Cater to the NAFTA trucking trade business.
  • Good return on investment. Maintain a profitable business with a good return on investment.

Interstate Travel Center will be developed in four phases. Phase development will enable the owner/operator to introduce viable, profitable goods and services without over-building. Over-building at this location would be easy to do because of the slower growth of the area associated with NAFTA, it would also mean certain failure if the owner/operator cannot secure resources for several years of financial staying power to support a negative cash flow. The timeline for the implementation of the various phases is contingent upon customer response and profitability and action is initiated at the discretion of the owners. It is assumed that the implementation of Phase II will occur sometime after the first three years of operation.

Phase I: Initial Development

  • Diesel fueling lanes: four; dual-sided fueling.
  • Gasoline MPDs: four dispensers.
  • Travel Store: Approximately 3,000 square feet.
  • Showers: Approximately four stalls.
  • Truck Loungers.
  • Game Room.
  • Restaurant: Seating for 64-69 patrons.
  • Truck Parking: room for approximately 100-150 trucks.
  • Scales: Owner to purchase scales.

Phase II: Increased Goods and Services, Third Year of Operation

  • Diesel fueling lanes: add two for a total of six lanes.
  • Truck parking: add 100-150 spaces.

Phase III: Increased Goods and Services, Fifth Year of Operation

  • Diesel fueling lanes: increase to eight dual-sided fueling.
  • Gasoline MPDs: increase to six dispensers.
  • Travel Store: Enlarge to 4,800 square feet.
  • Showers: Add four for a total of eight stalls.
  • Truck services: Add lease space for truck services such as tires, batteries, oil and lube.

Phase IV: Increased Goods and Services, Sixth Year of Operation

  • Add fast food unit.
  • Add additional restaurant seating for a total of 100 patrons.
  • Motel: Add 48 room unit.
  • Truck Parking: Add 100 spaces (Total 400-525).
  • Truck Wash.

5.1 Branding

Gasoline/Diesel branding
The suggested branding is for market impact. A positive draw of highway customers is more likely on a branded unit than on a non-branded unit. Branding will draw those customers that might have otherwise traded in a larger area. Branding will help to draw local trucks and long-haul NAFTA trucks that need fuel between their designated stops.

It is highly recommended that the location be promoted for local and long-haul businesses, and for companies to fill their vehicles at the new travel center. Suggested promotions include special pricing and/or national charge accounts such as Comcheck.

Branding recommendations:
It is suggested that the new site be branded with one of the following options for national or regional recognition.

  • Chevron
  • Diamond Shamrock
  • Texaco
  • Private Brand

Branding advantages:
The primary advantage to branding is the dollar assistance offered by the oil companies. Most major companies have rebates and allowances that will assist in the total dollar investment by the retailer. Regionally, we are seeing oil companies upgrade their company-owned leased facilities. The brand suggested is in a strong growth pattern in many communities similar to this one. Additional advantages are listed below:

  • It is best to be branded on a highway and/or commuter type location.
  • In a transit location, it is best to be branded to draw credit card sales.
  • Branded locations (on average) have a larger dollar sale per visit than do unbranded locations.
  • Being branded will enable the owner to take advantage of the rebate dollars and advertising dollars available.
  • Constructing the facility as a branded location will enable the owner to take advantage of the rebate programs, thus improving their return on investment (ROI).
  • The rebate program will reduce the total investment over the next three to five years. This fact alone improves the risk factor and should carry a great deal of weight when being considered by local financing and/or banking services.

The owners have chosen Diamond Shamrock as their brand preference for their new business. Their selection was based on several factors, such as incentives, advertising allowances, company flexibility, and their acceptance of all major credit cards.

5.2 Marketing Strategy

A small traveler’s guide will be published to advertise the travel center and all it has to offer. Advertising will be disseminated through the use of local newspapers, and radio and television commercials. Other promotional items, such as billboards and local chamber of commerce propaganda will also be employed. Customer service will be the number one priority of this business. This will, in turn, generate repeat business.

5.3 Sales Strategy

The sales figures are based on projections of vehicles using the major highways adjacent to Interstate Travel Center. The yearly growth figures are based on conservative projections of increasing customer use as marketing and customer retention builds an established customer base. The growth rate for gas/diesel is five percent per year for the first three years. The restaurant growth rate is slightly higher, at seven percent per year. It it assumed that this venture will grow a stable customer base more quickly than the other ventures due to its more unique product experience. Finally, the growth rates for the travel store is set at four percent per year. This again reflects the belief that this venture will have the most difficulty in building service awareness and retention.

5.3.1 Sales Forecast

The following table and chart show our sales forecast.

Truck stop business plan, strategy and implementation chart image

Truck stop business plan, strategy and implementation chart image

Sales Forecast
Year 1 Year 2 Year 3
Unit Sales
Diesel (gallons) 2,550,000 2,677,500 2,811,375
Gasoline (gallons) 1,050,000 1,102,500 1,157,625
Travel Store 230,004 236,904 244,011
Interstate Travel Restaurant 81,276 86,965 93,052
Rebates, allowances, etc. 246,600 246,600 246,600
Total Unit Sales 4,157,880 4,350,469 4,552,663
Unit Prices Year 1 Year 2 Year 3
Diesel (gallons) $1.75 $1.75 $1.75
Gasoline (gallons) $1.50 $1.50 $1.50
Travel Store $3.75 $3.75 $3.75
Interstate Travel Restaurant $13.00 $13.00 $13.00
Rebates, allowances, etc. $1.00 $1.00 $1.00
Diesel (gallons) $4,462,500 $4,685,625 $4,919,906
Gasoline (gallons) $1,575,000 $1,653,750 $1,736,438
Travel Store $862,515 $888,390 $915,041
Interstate Travel Restaurant $1,056,588 $1,130,545 $1,209,676
Rebates, allowances, etc. $246,600 $246,600 $246,600
Total Sales $8,203,203 $8,604,910 $9,027,661
Direct Unit Costs Year 1 Year 2 Year 3
Diesel (gallons) $1.67 $1.67 $1.67
Gasoline (gallons) $1.40 $1.40 $1.40
Travel Store $0.75 $0.75 $0.75
Interstate Travel Restaurant $2.00 $2.00 $2.00
Rebates, allowances, etc. $0.00 $0.00 $0.00
Direct Cost of Sales
Diesel (gallons) $4,258,500 $4,471,425 $4,694,996
Gasoline (gallons) $1,470,000 $1,543,500 $1,620,675
Travel Store $172,503 $177,678 $183,008
Interstate Travel Restaurant $162,552 $173,930 $186,104
Rebates, allowances, etc. $0 $0 $0
Subtotal Direct Cost of Sales $6,063,555 $6,366,533 $6,684,784