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05/20/2020

TravelCenters of America focuses on expansion

Marianne Wilson
Editor-in-Chief
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TravelCenters of America Inc. is looking to expand its footprint via franchising.

The company, operators of TA, Petro Stopping Centers and TA Express travel center brands, announced that it is accelerating its network expansion strategy by actively pursuing franchising opportunities for business growth. TravelCenters also announced a new TA Express location opening in Mt. Vernon, Texas.

On May 1, 2020, TravelCenters announced a company-wide reorganization, key steps in a new strategic, long-term plan to improve operational efficiency and profitability.

“Franchising is an integral part of our new strategic plan and a key driver for the continued expansion of the business,” said Jon Pertchik, CEO of TA. “We believe putting the accelerator on this aspect of operations will allow us to become a growth engine and serve more customers and communities. We believe there are significant opportunities for continued growth through franchising and in early 2020, we began rapidly increasing our engagement efforts and broadening our reach with potential franchisees.”

Since the beginning of 2019, TA has signed 18 new franchise agreements under one of TA’s travel center brands. Four opened in 2019 and in the first half of 2020, eight new franchise sites are open or anticipated to open in the following cities:

•    Kilgore, Texas;
•    Salina, Utah;
•    Wasco, Oregon;
•    West Point, Georgia;
•    Mt. Vernon, Texas;
•    Vermillion, South Dakota (anticipated June opening);
•    Nacogdoches, Texas (anticipated June opening); and
•    Lake City, Florida (anticipated June opening)

TA expects an additional six will open by the end of the first quarter of 2021.

In addition, TA is currently negotiating franchise agreements for 13 travel centers across states in the western and southern U.S. The company is also engaged in later stages of discussions with operators of another six locations, and has more than 80 other potential franchisees in the pipeline across states including California, Texas, Nevada and Missouri.

TravelCenters of America operates more than 260 locations in 44 states and Canada, principally under the TA, Petro Stopping Centers and TA Express brands. It also operates nearly 650 full-service and quick-service restaurants and 10 proprietary brands, including Quaker Steak and Lube, Iron Skillet and Country Pride.