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Pilot Flying J Listed in Top 100 Food-service Chains and Companies

Knoxville-based Pilot Flying J has been named in the Nation's Restaurant News' (NRN) list of Top 100 food-service chains and companies.

Pilot came in as the 65th largest in revenue and second in fastest revenue growth. The company had $451 million in U.S. food and beverage revenue during 2010, a 67.72 percent growth that pushed the company to second on the magazine's list of the 100 fastest growing companies.

"Being ranked in the Top 100 is a great accomplishment for the Pilot Flying J team," said Pilot Flying J CEO Jimmy Haslam. "The significance becomes greater when we consider how this growth allows us to provide even more convenience to the professional drivers and members of the motoring public that we serve. Restaurants are an extremely important part of our service to customers."

Pilot Flying J currently operates 286 branded restaurants and plans to open an additional five restaurant locations this year. By the end of 2011, Pilot Flying J will operate nearly 170 Subway restaurants, making the company the largest Subway franchisee in the world.

Pilot Flying J contributes its successful year to the merger between Pilot Travel Centers and Flying J Travel Plazas during FY 2010 as well as deli openings at locations nationwide.

"We knew with the merger that we'd move up on the list, but to be 65 out of 100 is very exciting," said Gary Price, vice president of foodservice for Pilot Flying J. "We're even more pleased with the number two ranking for growth. That recognition is very encouraging and assists us in continuing to attract great team members to serve our customers. We also plan to continue growing by adding restaurants and hot delis to better serve customers across the country."

In the past six months, Pilot Flying J has opened 206 full hot deli areas in locations across the U.S. The hot delis include Pepperoni's handmade Italian pizza as well as cheeseburgers, Oscar Mayer hot dogs, Tyson chicken and several other hot meal options.

Pilot Flying J restaurants include Arby's, Chester's Chicken, Dairy Queen, KFC, McDonald's, Pizza Hut, Subway, Taco Bell, and Wendy's.

On the NRN Top 100 list, Pilot Flying J surpassed such notable restaurant groups as Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc., Panera Bread Co., Buffalo Wild Wings Inc., and Chick-fil-A Inc. on the list of fastest growing enterprises.

In the top revenue category, Pilot Flying J finished ahead of Target Corp. Foodservice, Chuck E. Cheese's and Golden Corral.

Pilot Flying J is headquartered in Knoxville, Tennessee, and has more than 550 locations in North America. The company employs approximately 20,000 people and is the largest operator of travel centers in North America.

Published June 25, 2011, 10:05 a.m.

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