Foodservice

Pilot Debuts Quick-Serve Deli Concept

Part of $1 billion New Horizons initiative; 6 more travel centers get upgrades
Corbin, Ky., Pilot with new Burrito Junction, check presentation to local school district
Photograph courtesy of Pilot Co.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Pilot Co.’s original location is now home to another original: a new Tex-Mex deli concept called Burrito Junction.

The travel center chain’s chef and food innovation team spent two years testing and fine-tuning the “make it your way” Burrito Junction menu before its launch at the Pilot location in Corbin, Ky., that opened in 1981.

The new deli concept is open 24/7 and features customizable breakfast burritos in the morning and a full menu of burritos, tacos, bowls and quesadillas that can be personalized with house-made guacamole, queso, salsa and an array of toppings, Pilot said.

“We strive to connect people and places,” said Jamie King, senior director of food and beverage for Knoxville, Tenn.-based Pilot. “Food is always a great way to connect with our guests, and Burrito Junction is another way for us to do just that. Our guests are loving the fresh variety that this new concept brings, and we are exploring opportunities to expand it to additional locations while continuing to innovate our food offerings.”

Burrito Junction is part of the Pilot’s $1 billion New Horizons initiative focused on upgrading the customer experience and equipping its stores for the future of travel.

In addition to the Corbin location, five more travel centers recently completed full store remodels, and to celebrate, Pilot teamed with Monster Beverage Corp., Corona, Calif., to host an event with several giveaways at the Corbin location. In addition to Burrito Junction, this travel center now features a modernized exterior and interior with remodeled restrooms, additional grab-and-go items and four new self-checkouts.

The six remodeled stores incorporated feedback from professional drivers and other customers to add more fresh food options and upgrade the overall store experience, Pilot said. Key improvements at the other locations:

  • Bakersfield, Calif.: New kitchen to prepare an expanded menu of fresh food, updated laundry facilities and new quick-service restaurant (QSR) brands.
  • Battle Creek, Mich.: New deli with grab-and-go options for made-in-house hot and cold foods, expanded beverage selection and updated checkout area.
  • Cartersville, Ga.: Enhanced deli with grab-and-go options for hot and cold foods, expanded beverage selection and fully remodeled Subway.
  • Phoenix, Ariz.: Upgraded deli with additional grab-and-go items, expanded beverage selection and four new self-checkouts.
  • Staunton, Va.: New kitchen to prepare an expanded menu of fresh food and grab-and-go cold items, expanded beverage selection, four new self-checkouts and a fully remodeled Arby’s.

“With every store that we remodel, we take care to make improvements that will better serve our guests and team members now and into the future,” said Allison Cornish, vice president of store modernization. “It’s amazing to see the transformations and to see the progress as we ramp up renovations at more travel centers across our network.”

The three-year New Horizons project marks the company’s most significant investment in store modernization to date, Pilot said. It will fully remodel more than 400 Pilot and Flying J travel centers and make additional upgrades at several more locations across the country.

As part of the New Horizons initiative and in honor of its long history of giving back, Pilot is donating a combined $70,000 to the local school districts in these six communities to support of STEM, technology and career development programs.

Founded in 1958, Pilot has grown its network to more than 800 retail and fueling locations, and it supplies more than 14 billion gallons of fuel per year to the market. Its Pilot and Flying J travel center network includes more than 750 locations in 44 states and six Canadian provinces with more than 790 restaurants, 75,000 truck parking spaces, 5,300 showers and 6,200 diesel lanes and offers truck maintenance and tire service with Southern Tire Mart at Pilot Flying J. The One9 Fuel Network connects a variety of fueling locations to provide smaller fleets and independent professional drivers with everyday value, convenience, credit and perks.

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