NATSO, International Franchise Association work together to feed truck drivers

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Driver in cab of truck
Driver in cab of truck

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — NATSO, a national association that represents truck stops and travel plazas, has partnered with the International Franchise Association to provide truck drivers with information about available food options at truck stops and travel plazas across the U.S.

Because many state and local governments have restricted sit-down dining due to the COVID-19 pandemic, thousands of restaurant franchises located within truck stops and travel centers have adapted to offer take-out and curbside delivery for truck drivers.

“NATSO and its members are committed to ensuring that the heroic truck drivers serving America during this national pandemic have access to as many food options as possible,” said Lisa Mullings, president and CEO of NATSO. “We are proud to feed the nation’s truck drivers, and through this partnership, truck drivers can more readily find food and meals in specific geographic areas.”

Travel centers remain committed to remaining open 24 hours a day to provide food, fuel, parking and the other essential amenities needed by professional drivers as long as state, local and federal governments permit them to do so.

“Franchise businesses represent some of America’s most loved and trusted brands,” said Robert Cresanti, president and CEO of the International Franchise Association. “America’s truckers are keeping our economy moving during COVID-19, and we’re excited to partner with NATSO to increase their access to meals while on the road.”

Restaurant franchises also remain dedicated to feeding travelers, especially essential truck drivers, during the current crisis.

“The COVID-19 pandemic, and its impact on the restaurant industry, has resulted in more limited options for fresh, hot meals for truck drivers. Chester’s is able to fill that void, and we are committed to serving fresh fried chicken and homestyle sides in our truck-stop and travel-plaza locations whenever possible,” said William Culpepper, vice president of Marketing at Chester’s, a restaurant franchise that specializes in fried chicken.

“During the COVID-19 crisis, we have worked hard and fast to support our operators by developing marketing assets uniquely suited to this new world where dining rooms are closed and purchasing behaviors are changing.” Culpepper continued.

To help alert drivers to the availability of prepared food, Chester’s locations have posted signs at truck stops and travel centers noting that the restaurant is “open for chicken” and that curbside pickup is available. In addition, the franchise is running a special promotion offering 10 chicken tenders for $10.

Kurt Kane, president, U.S. and chief commercial officer for The Wendy’s Co. expressed gratitude to the nation’s truck drivers.

“We are grateful for our nation’s truck drivers (and) believe that they are vital to our economy. They need access to food while on the road delivering critical supplies to hospitals, retailers, restaurants and other essential businesses,” he said. “Several weeks ago, Wendy’s introduced a new walk-up curbside ordering procedure to accommodate customers with oversized vehicles, like truck drivers and first responders, while many of our dining rooms are temporarily closed.”

A pop-up window in the Wendy’s mobile app notifies user of these options, making it easier for truckers and other drivers with oversized vehicles gain access to food.

For a listing of travel-center food options visit the NATSO website or the International Franchise Association website.

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