Foodservice

TravelCenters of America Launches Healthier Menus at Restaurants

Convenience-store phase of program coming in 2023
Egg White Veggie Omelet
Photograph courtesy of TravelCenters of America

WESTLAKE, Ohio — In its new foodservice program promoting healthier food options and snacks, TravelCenters of America just launched new menus at its Country Pride and Iron Skillet full-service restaurants.

The program, in partnership with the Cleveland Clinic, identifies the healthy options recommended by the clinic with a heart icon.

“The early feedback from our guests has been very favorable,” said Tina Arundel, senior director, communications, at Westlake, Ohio-based TravelCenters of America. “They are commenting that it shows that TravelCenters of America cares about professional drivers health by working to provide them with healthy dining options.”

The second phase of the program, which will expand to convenience stores, will begin in 2023, Arundel said. TA currently is working to identify healthy grab-and-go food options for its c-stores.

“Cleveland Clinic recognizes the power of nutritious food in supporting optimal health,” TA says on its website. “Identifying those foods that help you feel your best can be a challenge, but we want to help make those choices easier.”

  • TravelCenters of America is No. 28 on CSP’s 2022 Top 202 ranking of U.S. convenience-store chains by company-owned store count.

In formulating the better-for-you food options, TA used Cleveland Clinic’s expertise along with the federal government’s Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2020-2025. “This criteria is based on a thorough scientific review of current nutrition science data,” TA said. “The criteria below applies nutrition science to guidelines that can serve as a guide for your healthy meal options.”

The criteria are:

  • Added sugars: Less than 23 grams for adults and less than 17 grams for children.
  • Saturated fats: Less than 11 grams for adults and less than 7 grams for children.
  • Sodium: Less than 765 grams for adults and children.

Examples of healthy options at Country Pride and Iron Skillet restaurants are:

  • Breakfast: An egg white veggie omelet (pictured) loaded with fresh veggies and served with fresh fruit and toast.
  • Lunch: Grilled chicken on a lettuce bun, served with fresh vegetable medley.
  • Dinner: Blackened salmon or whitefish served with one of the healthy side options: baked potato, rice pilaf, buffalo cauliflower, sliced tomatoes and more.

“We are listening to our guests’ feedback and are pleased to offer what they are looking for—a welcoming and engaging travel-center experience—through newly built and refreshed locations,” said CEO Jon Pertchik said during the initial announcement in September. “As we continue growing to serve more travelers, we are enhancing their experience by expanding food offerings, supporting guest health and continuing to update and upgrade our sites.”

TravelCenters of America, a publicly traded, full-service travel center network, has 280 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 (QSR), travel stores, car and truck parking and other services. The company operates more than 600 full-service and quick-service restaurants and nine proprietary brands, including Iron Skillet and Country Pride.

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