Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Quaker Steak & Lube back in the news, but not for this area

Back in 2014 I wrote that there was a possibility the gas station-themed Quaker Steak & Lube restaurant chain would be looking to move into the Greater Capital Region as part of an announced expansion program.

That came after an announcement from Action Companies of Syracuse that it had reached a franchising agreement to open 16 QS&L venues in Upstate New York and New England, beginning early in 2015. It already had made property purchase offers in an undisclosed Albany area location, according to Syracuse.com, and had Saratoga Springs in its sights.

However, it did not follow through and in late 2015 I wrote that the then-Pennsylvania based company had filed for bankruptcy. In the interim, Quaker Steak ran into financial problems and went into bankruptcy. In late 2015, it said it was in talks to sell the chain to TravelCenters, a truck stop chain headquartered in the Montgomery County village of Fultonville. But, that also did not come to pass, so Quaker Steak continued looking for a light at the end of the fiscal tunnel, and last month it said it would begin an aggressive expansion push.

The latest development is that QS&L -- it began in 1974 in a former gas station in Sharon, PA,  and the name is a mashup of Pennsylvania's Quaker State nickname and a popular motor oil brand -- is trying to expand into the Philadelphia area even though the company now is headquartered in Westlake, OH.

" 'Quaker' is in our name. We have to be there," said Zeb Hastings, QS&L's vice president of franchise development. "It's a great market. It's the seventh-largest MSA in the United States with 6 million people, population grown and above-average consumer household spending in the United States."

An interesting push, but despite what was said back in 2014, although today QS&L has locations in 14 states New York and New England are not among them.

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