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TravelCenters of America Inc. (Nasdaq: TA), nationwide operator of the TA, Petro Stopping Centers and TA Express travel center brands, announced today that it is accelerating its network expansion strategy by actively pursuing franchising opportunities for business growth. The Company also announced a new TA Express franchise opening today 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:
West Point, Georgia
Mt. Vernon, Texas
Vermillion, South Dakota (anticipated June opening)
Nacogdoches, Texas (anticipated June opening)
Lake City, Florida (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, Oregon; Cookeville, Tennessee; Edgerton, Kansas 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. Pertchik added, "Franchising is an integral part of our new strategic plan and a key driver for the continued expansion of the business. We believe putting the accelerator on this aspect of operations will allow us to become a growth engine and serve more customers and communities."
For nearly fifty years, TravelCenters of America has provided truck drivers with the amenities and services of home, including showers, restrooms, laundry facilities, places to rest and dine. Its travel centers house quick and full serve restaurants, including some of the nation’s most recognized brands like Popeye's, Burger King, Boston Market and Starbucks, attractive to motorist consumers.
Those interested in franchise opportunities can learn more by visiting ta-petro.com/franchising.
About TravelCenters of America
TravelCenters of America Inc. (Nasdaq: TA) 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®. For more information, visit www.ta-petro.com.
Warning Concerning Forward-Looking Statements
This press release contains statements that constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and other securities laws. Also, whenever TA uses words such as "believe", "expect", "anticipate", "intend", "plan", "estimate", "will", "may" and negatives or derivatives of these or similar expressions, TA is making forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are based upon TA’s present intent, beliefs or expectations, but forward-looking statements are not guaranteed to occur and may not occur. Actual results may differ materially from those contained in or implied by TA’s forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors, some of which are beyond TA’s control. For example, this press release includes various statements about expected new franchising arrangements, potential future franchising arrangements and plans to pursue additional franchising arrangements. However, these arrangements may not be completed or, if they are, TA may not realize the benefits it expects from them. Further, this press release references TA’s new strategic, long-term plan to improve operational efficiency and profitability. However, TA may fail to successfully execute that plan and it may not realize the benefits it expects from that plan.
The information contained in TA’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, or SEC, including under "Risk Factors" in TA’s periodic reports, or incorporated therein, identifies other important factors that could cause TA’s actual results to differ materially from those stated in or implied by TA’s forward-looking statements. TA’s filings with the SEC are available on the SEC’s website at www.sec.gov.
You should not place undue reliance upon forward-looking statements. Except as required by law, TA does not intend to update or change any forward-looking statements as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
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