Fazoli’s has debuted its first unit in a travel plaza, marking an additional venue for the popular premium Italian quick-service restaurant chain.

Franchisee Par Mar Stores, a division of Par Mar Oil Co., has agreed to open two more Fazoli’s at other travel plazas in West Virginia and Ohio within the next two years.

The new store, which celebrated its grand opening April 5, is located at an interstate exit near Fairmont, West Virginia. It seats 38, is about 1,800 square feet, and offers dine-in, carryout, and drive-thru services.

Travel centers similar to this one present a major growth opportunity for Fazoli’s, says Carl T. Howard, president and chief executive officer.

“Travel centers are changing, and consumers are using them differently,” Howard says. “They are not just off the freeway anymore, as more petroleum owners are expanding their locations, both freeway and intercity, to include retail and foodservice. Travelers are looking for an option that is similar to a full service experience that is not a diner.”

Sandra Morgenstern, Par Mar president and chief operating officer, says the company is looking into the possibility of adding more Fazoli’s units in some of the 50 travel centers where it operates.

Fazoli’s also has a three-unit development agreement with travel center operator Creations of New Whiteland, Indiana.

The first one is scheduled to open later this year in the Indianapolis market.

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