Huddle House Partners with Pilot Flying J

Opening six new restaurants in Oklahoma, Georgia, Kansas travel centers

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. & ATLANTA -- Two franchisees of Huddle House Inc., a more-than-400-unit family dining restaurant chain, have signed leases with Pilot Flying J to open six new restaurants in the next three months. The first of the restaurants opened in mid-November in Ardmore, Okla. with additional openings slated for Edmond, Okla., Oklahoma City, Madison, Ga., Emporia, Kansas, and Salina, Kansas.

"In 2012, Huddle House is looking to strengthen its presence with companies like Pilot Flying J, where restaurants can be remodeled and opened relatively quickly," said chief development officer Mark Whittle.

"Expanding our restaurants into travel centers is beneficial for Huddle House because it provides joint traffic flow and a demographic that connects well with the iconic brand, from the quick, friendly service to the variety of food offerings," he said. "Working with Pilot Flying J will be a key strategy in 2012 and beyond for new restaurant development."

As a brand that is known for their wide variety of comfort food items and 24-hour service, Huddle House has developed several new products exclusively for the travel centers to appeal to a broader clientele base. By introducing a new interior design package featuring flexible seating options, larger booths and a warmer color palate in 2011, Huddle House is well equipped to provide a one-stop option for all of its traveling guests, it said.

"We have implemented new operations strategies to appeal to the professional driver customers, as well as the local residents near the facilities. One such strategy is a new signature 'Big Rig Menu'," Whittle said. "The 'Big Rig' menu not only offers tailored products for the professional drivers, but also ensures that Huddle House maintains strong speed of service to its guests."

Huddle House features signature Big House breakfast and sandwich platters, as well as favorites such as country fried steak with green beans and marinated grilled chicken with sweet potato fries. Typically open 24-hours, Huddle House serves breakfast, lunch and dinner all day. The Atlanta-based chain has restaurants located in 20 states, primarily in the Southeast, Midwest and Southwest.

Pilot Flying J, Knoxville, Tenn., and has more than 550 retail locations across North America. Pilot Flying J is also one of the nation's largest wholesale fuel providers, delivering more than 500 million gallons of fuel to thousands of customers in 47 states and eight Canadian provinces.