Pipeline feeds local economy

Hungry pipeliners photo
Working up an appetite: Employees on TransCanada’s Gulf Coast Pipeline Project are supporting local restaurants and other businesses in Texas and Oklahoma.

The pipeliners have arrived; and to many in Paris, Texas, this is a welcome change. Increased populations of workers driving red trucks with a habit of going out for dinner can only mean one thing for the business-savvy entrepreneur: Opportunity.

“When the pipeliners move in, our business goes up,” says Ken Wall, a caterer for the steakhouse-turned-buffet, Sirloin Stockade. “It started with a catering job, but we’ve turned it into more than that.”

It all started with a team-building activity. TransCanada contractors working for Michels Corporation, a prime contractor on the Gulf Coast Pipeline Project, needed some help with catering lunches, breakfasts and snacks throughout a three-day period. With a few hundred people needing to be kept full, Ken knew he would be busy.

“We fed them breakfasts, lunches, snacks and gave them water,” says Ken. “The guys loved it. I had nothing but a positive experience with the pipeliners.”

And he sensed a business opportunity. Knowing that dinner-time is the best part of the day for most pipeliners, and knowing they’re here to stay for a while, Ken quickly started handing out punch cards.

“Our frequent diner cards,” explains Ken. “You buy 10 meals, you get a free one. I wanted to keep these guys coming back to our establishment, and this was the way to do it.”

Ken’s plan worked. With an increase in revenues and a bustling kitchen, there have been a bunch of free-meal tickets punched on those frequent diner cards.

With the Gulf Coast Pipeline Project construction heading through a number of towns, positive economic impacts can be felt at many retail levels — hotels, RV parks and restaurants. Opportunities abound at a number of different levels, and many people, such as Ken, are taking advantage of the opportunity.

To learn more about the Gulf Coast Pipeline Project, visit TransCanada.com