TravelCenters of America Focuses on Accelerating Franchise Growth

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TravelCenters of America Focuses on Accelerating Franchise Growth


WESTLAKE, Ohio — TravelCenters of America Inc. (TA) will accelerate its network expansion strategy through the active pursuit of franchising opportunities for business growth.

The company has signed 18 new franchise agreements under one of its travel center brands since the beginning of 2019, with four opening the same year.

The latest TA Express franchise opened May 20 in Mt. Vernon, Texas. Formerly operated as Duke's Travel Plaza, the new TA Express is located on Interstate 30, exit 147 at 300 SE Access Rd. Its offerings include:

  • 53 truck parking spaces and ample auto parking
  • Diesel fueling with RFID and DEF at all lanes, in addition to gas fueling lanes
  • Private showers, a laundry room and driver's lounge
  • Elaborate dog park
  • Travel store

Dining options include Cotton Belt BBQ, Taco Casa and an on-site deli with made-to-go freshly prepared options.

"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."

During the company's first-quarter 2020 earnings call, TA officials noted that they expect franchising to be its primary method of growth in the future, as Convenience Store News previously reported.

Eight new franchise sites are already open or expected to open during the first half of 2020 in:

  • 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 also expects its franchise expansion to reach Huntington, Ore.; Cookeville, Tenn.; Edgerton, Kan.; and South Houston, Texas, this year. An additional six franchise sites are expected to open by the end of the first quarter of 2021.

The company is currently negotiating franchise agreements for travel centers across states in the western and southern regions of the United States. Additionally, it is in the later stages of discussions with operators of another six locations and has 80-plus potential franchisees in the pipeline across states such as California, Texas, Nevada and Missouri, according to TA.

"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."

Westlake-based TA has more than 21,000 employees serving customers in more than 260 locations in 44 states and Canada, principally under the TA, Petro Stopping Centers and TA Express brands. It operates nearly 650 full-service and quick-service restaurants and 10 proprietary restaurant brands, including Quaker Steak and Lube, Iron Skillet and Country Pride.