TravelCenters of America Inc. announced that it’s accelerating its network expansion strategy by actively pursuing franchising opportunities for business growth.
In addition, the company announced a new TA Express franchise opening in Mt. Vernon, Texas.
“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,” said Jon Pertchik, CEO of TA. “We have a team dedicated to identifying and actively pursuing excellent franchisees who are committed to providing our customers with the services and amenities they’ve come to trust and rely on at our travel centers.”
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, Ore.
- West Point, Ga.
- Mt. Vernon, Texas
- Vermillion, S.D. (anticipated June opening)
- Nacogdoches, Texas (anticipated June opening)
- Lake City, Fla. (anticipated June opening)
TA expects an additional six will open by the end of the first quarter of 2021. Other cities TA expects to be part of its franchise expansion this year include Huntington, Ore.; Cookeville, Tenn.; Edgerton, Kan. and South Houston, Texas.
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.
“We have some of the best independent travel operators in the country operating under franchise agreements and in many cases, we are now working with the grandchildren of the original franchise principals,” said Dave Raco, Vice President of Franchise Operations. “They stay with us. We are recognized for our nearly 50 years of business success in the industry and independent operators around the country are excited to become our partners to share in the same experiences.”
“My relationship with TravelCenters of America has allowed me to thrive in a highly competitive market. If you want to compete, you need to be aligned with a successful brand,” said Robert Berkstresser, franchise principal of Petro Stopping Centers in Raphine, Virginia and the TA in Lexington, Virginia. “The ability to join in the network-wide fuel and loyalty programs makes us an attractive option to drivers and large fleets. TA and my team share the same commitment to the trucking community and because we’re aligned, my chances of success are dramatically heightened. I’m proud to be a TravelCenters of America franchisee.”
On May 1, 2020, TA made a series of announcements, including a company-wide reorganization, all 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 Pertchik. “We believe putting the accelerator on this aspect of operations will allow us to become a growth engine and serve more customers and communities.”
TravelCenters of America Inc. is the nation’s largest publicly traded full-service travel center network. Founded in 1972 and headquartered in Westlake, Ohio, its more than 21,000 employees serve customers in over 260 locations in 44 states and Canada, principally under the TA, Petro Stopping Centers and TA Express brands. Offerings include diesel and gasoline fuel, truck maintenance and repair, full-service and quick-service restaurants, car and truck parking and other services and amenities dedicated to providing great experiences for professional drivers and the general motoring public. TravelCenters of America operates nearly 650 full-service and quick-service restaurants and 10 proprietary brands, including Quaker Steak and Lube, Iron Skillet and Country Pride.