Pilot is stepping into a new era of truck stops with focus on food, cleanliness, and tech

The recently renamed Pilot company is looking to improve its public perception by revamping the way it serves professional truckers and the motoring public in general. 

Following a name change from Pilot Flying J to Pilot Company, and a recent change in CEO, the company is now looking to update, improve, and streamline the services they offer to those passing through their doors and fuel islands. 

With the opening of several new “prototype” stores and plans to remodel old stores to reflect their new focus on food service, cleanliness, and technology, Pilot executives say they are intent on changing consumers’ perception of their stores. 

“I want them to see and hear the ‘welcome to pilot’ right? We pride ourselves in our hospitality and our team members -it’s our differentiator from other travel centers. The way we’ve designed our stores and laid it out, obviously we want you to feel clean, safe, welcoming, and variety and breadth of assortment. So, if you walk into our new format [prototype stores] through the gas entrance, for our families, you’re gonna see our food on full display. Whether it’s our best on the interstate coffee, or our hot food selection – food and beverage is on full display,” explained Pilot Company’s Chief Merchant, Brian Ferguson, in an interview with CSP.

“We want to get you in and out as quickly as possible. So it’s easy to shop well lit, easy to check out really fast. Really amazing self and assisted checkouts, as a well as really fast pin pads because time is everything when you’re on the road whether you’re a pro driver or a gas guest. Getting in and out paying quickly and getting on your way – Our new prototypes are amazing,” he continued. 

“We continue to renovate our older stores to have the key elements of our latest store design and renovation plans, but we’re always moving forward with a lot of customer insights. We study what driver and gas customers like and don’t like, what they want from us. We are really in tune with the guest.”

While no official timeline for the renovation and overall transition of existing Pilot locations has been released, Pilot executives seem confident that truckers and motorists alike will come to appreciate their stores in a new light. 

“As the largest network of travel centers in North America, we will be focusing on growing our footprint across both the Pilot flying J and the One9 Fuel Network and upgrading several of our existing locations for a more consistent experience. Over the next few years, we are planning to build a select number of new locations and will look to bring in partners to offer a growing variety of stops to our network,” Ferguson said to CSP Magazine.