Food & Drink International - Fall 2017 - 48
TA Restaurant Group
TA signed a deal with Fazoli's this
year to franchise four of its restaurants.
By the end of 2017, a new Fazoli's will
open at travel centers in Oklahoma,
Connecticut and Texas. In 2018, another will open in Michigan.
"They are a new partners with us,"
Ponczoch says. "We have looked at
Fazoli's three or four times over the
past five years. Recently they have
gone through a transition and really
impressed us with the quality of their
product and the service levels they
In addition to Fazoli's, TA is pairing
up with another new partner - Boston
Market, a Golden, Colo.-based American fast food chain. TA plans to open
its first Boston Market at a travel center
in Texas. "There's a number of other
brands that we're speaking with but
nothing concrete yet," Ponczoch adds.
TA Restaurant Group also operates as
a franchisee for more than 30 nationally recognized brands that include
Starbucks, Popeyes, Burger King, Taco
Bell, Pizza Hut, Dunkin' Donuts, Godfather's Pizza and Subway. These also
operate within TA and Petro Shopping
Center travel centers as well as Minit
Mart convenience store chains.
"Subway would be the one with the
most locations, but more recently our
growth has been with Popeyes," Ponessity is a leading global hygiene and health company
that develops, produces and sells Consumer Tissue,
Professional Hygiene, and Personal Care (Baby Care,
Feminine Care, Incontinence Products and Medical
Solutions) products and solutions. Our vision is dedicated to improving well-being through leading hygiene
and health solutions. Sales are conducted in approximately 150 countries under many strong brands, including the leading global brands Tork and TENA. Essity has about 48,000 employees and net sales in 2016 of
approximately $12 billion USD. The business operations
are based on a sustainable business model focused on
value creation for people and nature. The company has
its headquarters in Stockholm, Sweden, and is listed on
Nasdaq Stockholm. Essity used to be part of the SCA
Group. More information at www.essity.com.
czoch says. "We operate 62 of those
throughout the country." When considering brands as a franchisee, TA seeks
a reputable brand that has established
its name as well as one that is in good
standing with its franchisors.
"There are brands out there that are
truly focused on your success and that's
probably the most important thing about
the brand," Ponczoch says. "We look at
new brands as well, but one of our first
questions is that we want a list of current
franchisees that we can speak to."
Being a franchisee for a large number of
recognizable brands, TA cross trains its
employees to be able to work in more
than one restaurant. "We have to be
nimble and we are very good at that,"
says Tom Liutkus, senior vice president
of marketing and public relations. "It's
not uncommon for some of our district
managers to know both Burger King
and Taco Bell because they may be
managing both brands."
In addition, having access to the
various business practices of major
franchisors gives TA an edge over its
competitors. "That knowledge makes
us uniquely positioned," Liutkus adds.
"We take the knowledge of all these
different practices, take the best of
them and make them our standard
when we franchise."
As a franchisor, especially for its
Quaker Steak & Lube and Iron Skillet
brands, TA looks for entrepreneurs
with a background in the restaurant
business. Though it doesn't discount
those that seek to operate solely one
restaurant, TA prefers those who can
run multiple locations.
When it comes to charitable gestures,
TA believes in giving back to the people who have helped it prosper. One of
food & drink international * fall 2017 * www.fooddrink-magazine.com
its chosen charities is the St. Christopher Truckers Relief Fund, a non-profit
organization that helps truck drivers
and their families who have financial
needs due to medical problems. The
charity also works to develop programs
that benefit professional drivers and
the trucking industry in general.
"Our core business is the travel business and our core customer is the trucker," Liutkus says. "If they get injured on
the job and their earning power ceases
during recovery, this charity helps them
with some of those expenses."
The company has been supporting St.
Christopher's since 2010 and has raised
more than $2 million for the charity. It
also supports various charities that benefit veterans. This includes Wounded
Warriors, a non-profit group that provides transitional housing to post-9/11
combat veterans with Traumatic Brain
Injury (TBI) and Post-Traumatic Stress
(PTS). In addition, TA works with
the Folds of Honor Foundation, which
provides educational scholarships to
spouses and children of
fallen and disabled service members.