TravelCenters of America | March 17, 2023
TravelCenters of America Inc., nationwide operator and franchisor of the TA, Petro Stopping Centers and TA Express travel center network, announced today exciting updates to its full-service restaurant business.
Chef Maira Isabel now serves as TA’s Corporate Executive Chef, and will focus on adding flavorful, healthy offerings and integrating food trends and regional specialties into the menus of TA’s Country Pride and Iron Skillet restaurants. Before moving to the US, Chef Maira was a chef and on-air talent for multiple television shows for many years and was the Puerto Rico hostess of Bizarre Foods – Travel Channel. Her career has spanned TV, print and online publications including the Cooking Network, Travel Channel and Food & Beverage Magazine and she is a best-selling cookbook author. She has spent time perfecting her culinary skills in Italy, France, Colombia, Spain, Mexico and Morocco.
With over 150 full-service restaurants nationwide, TA continues expanding its portfolio to serve the needs of all travelers. In addition to proprietary brands Country Pride and Iron Skillet, TA launched Fork & Compass in January 2023 in Perrysburg, Ohio. Fork & Compass is designed to be an attractive option for all travelers and a destination spot for the community, with unique food options in a casual, comfortable, family-friendly atmosphere. TA also added five IHOPs and two Black Bear Diners in 2022, with plans to open more full-service restaurants this year.
TA will continue supporting the health and well-being of all travelers through its collaboration with Cleveland Clinic. Chef Maira’s menus will offer healthy meal options approved by Cleveland Clinic and highlighted with a heart-healthy logo. TA plans to expand beyond these menu offerings by working with Cleveland Clinic to identify healthy snack and grab-and-go food options in its travel stores.
“Chef Maira’s diverse background working in restaurants around the world, coupled with her sincere passion and enthusiasm, will elevate the sit-down dining experience at our travel centers,” said Lloyd Sanford, SVP, Hospitality. “Every culinary decision will be focused on ensuring we deliver on our mission of returning every traveler to the road better than they came.”
About TravelCenters of America
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 over 18,000 team members serve guests in 285 locations in 44 states, 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, travel stores, car and truck parking and other services dedicated to providing great experiences for its guests. TA is committed to sustainability, with its specialized business unit, eTA, focused on sustainable energy options for professional drivers and motorists. TA operates over 600 full-service and quick-service restaurants and nine proprietary brands, including Iron Skillet® and Country Pride.
globenewswire | May 12, 2023
Today, Hotel Equities (HE) and National Hospitality Services (NHS) announced they have formed a strategic alliance. The NHS portfolio of 38 hotels will integrate into HE’s management platform creating strategic growth opportunities for associates and optimizing systems to create a more dynamic and powerful operations and sales engine. The alliance leverages efficiencies and resources to drive elevated performance across the combined portfolio of approximately 300 hotels and resorts throughout the United States and Canada.
“Since opening our first hotel in 1996, we have lived our promise to maximize earnings and value for the ownership groups we represent. Our partnership with Hotel Equities allows us to take that commitment to the next level," said founder and President of NHS, Norman Leslie. "The synergies and shared cultures of both companies ensure that our stakeholders will continue to see strong and growing returns for our ownership groups. This is an exciting time for our industry – but management must perform at a pinnacle level to deliver the returns that investors are seeking. That’s exactly what we will be able to do with this partnership."
“This alliance has been forged from a shared vision for future growth and a commitment to foundational values,” said HE’s President and Chief Executive Officer, Brad Rahinsky. “NHS’s track record of success and its stellar associate-centric reputation are well established in our industry. This alliance enables them to stay independent while honoring their legacy and unlocking the added scale, support and resources of HE’s collective platform.”
A key benefit from the alliance is the focused efforts on labor concerns, recruitment and retention with the added proprietary training and development resources and benefits HE has available to all of its associates and partners. NHS’s nearly 1,200 associates will bring HE’s total to more than 9,000 with access to additional perks including a sabbatical program, daily pay option, HE Marketplace and peer management training programs to spur and support continuous career growth.
“Not only will our team members have added growth opportunities by being part of an expansive portfolio but they also have the ability to tap into additional benefits and training programs to catapult their careers,” said Sarah Koustrup, Chief Strategy Officer for NHS. “Partnering with a group that invests heavily into its people was a huge deciding factor in moving forward with an alliance; it’s what we are most proud of.”
“Our people-focused and performance-driven model creates immediate value add for all of NHS’s stakeholders,” added HE’s Chief Operating Officer, Bryan DeCort. “As all new NHS associates are fully integrated into the HE ecosystem, owners will also experience real performance lift.”
“We continue to look for scale with the right groups where we both add value to the relationship in many ways,” said HE’s Chief Development Officer, Joe Reardon. “The alliance makes everyone better not only from cost savings to ownership groups but even more on the people side of the business. We are particularly excited about the growth opportunity this allows us in the Midwest.”
“The best-in-class systems, operations management and buying power of our combined efforts will not only elevate the guest experience at all of our hotels but also allow us to intensify our focus on NHS’s owner and asset management services with even more opportunities for property acquisitions, financing and enhanced operations management,” Leslie added.
About National Hospitality Services, LLC
National Hospitality Services (NHS) is a nationally recognized, award-winning hotel real estate investment and development company with a portfolio of 38 assets throughout the United States. NHS was founded by President Norman Leslie in 2001 and is led by Leslie and Chief Strategy Officer Sarah Koustrup. More information about NHS can be found at www.nhshotels.com.
Brand USA | May 23, 2023
Brand USA, the nation’s destination marketing organization, opened IPW 2023 with an immersive press conference showcasing the USA as an unrivalled travel destination, as well as the reveal of the organization’s latest consumer marketing campaign, provided international travel forecast, and consumer sentiment insights. IPW is the leading trade show for inbound travel to the United States, bringing more than 5,000 industry professionals from more than 60 countries to San Antonio, Texas for the first time. Brand USA is the premier sponsor of the annual event produced by the U.S. Travel Association and taking place for the first time in San Antonio, Texas.
The press conference featured iconic and lesser-known destinations and attractions, from the best places to taste local cuisine to stepping into the song lyrics or movie locations that first inspired a visit, being pampered in the lap of luxury, or experiencing the USA through the eyes of a sports enthusiast.
“There’s no other destination like the United States,” said Brand USA President and CEO, Chris Thompson to over 200 international journalists. “What sets the USA apart is the diversity of our geography, the diversity of our experiences, the diversity of our people, and our one-of-a-kind pop culture.”
Mr. Thompson described how USA pop culture is often the way people around the world first get to know the United States, asking: “How did you first come to know the United States? Were you on the road with Jack Kerouac, walking the line with Johnny Cash, or having breakfast with Audrey Hepburn at Tiffany’s? Regardless, I bet you were left with a dream, an idea, and an intangible excitement, and you knew you just had to experience it all for yourself.”
Thompson, who is bullish on inbound travel to the USA, gave examples of how pent-up demand continues to drive economic recovery in communities throughout the country as more and more people are now booking travel and living out their dreams. During the press conference Thompson highlighted how two recent barriers to travel have been alleviated: that overall airlines expect a near 100 percent return of connectivity by the end of the year, and that effective May 12, international travelers are no longer required to have a COVID-19 vaccination to enter the United States.
The worldwide travel restart has created a highly competitive global market for the lucrative international visitor. To move consumers more quickly from aspiration to action, Brand USA recently launched a marketing campaign across 10 key markets. The campaign showcases how the USA delivers on the consumer promise that whoever you want to be and whatever experience you long for, the United States is where you can find it. Thompson shared two of the latest campaign assets which speak to travelers seeking adventure or family fun.
About Brand USA
Brand USA, the destination marketing organization for the United States, was established by the Travel Promotion Act as the nation’s first public-private partnership to promote the United States as a premier travel destination and to communicate U.S. travel policies and procedures to worldwide travelers. The organization’s mission is to increase international visitation to the United States in order to fuel the U.S. economy and enhance the image of the United States worldwide. Formed as the Corporation for Travel Promotion in 2010, the public-private entity began operations in May 2011 and does business as Brand USA. According to studies by Oxford Economics, over the past 10 years Brand USA's marketing initiatives have helped welcome 8 million incremental visitors to the United States, benefiting the U.S. economy with more than $58 billion in total economic impact and supporting, on average, more than 37,000 incremental jobs a year.