November 01, 2011 // Franchising.com // The Award-Winning casual-dining concept Quaker Steak & Lube® offers some thoughts on what they call “Chicken Wing Cult Culture”. Not a passing fad, but decades of passion for spicy Chicken Wings. A favorite among varying generations and cultures, spanning across multiple continents, chicken wings are a food that groups gather around.
According to The National Chicken Council, 13.5 billion wings will be marketed as “chicken wings” this year alone, which translates to over 3 billion pounds. The majority of which are sold to the food service industry.
The act of frying chicken wings has always been a staple in southern cooking, and before that it was common beginning in Middle Age Era Scotland. The first Buffalo Wing however, that is a fried chicken wing dipped in a peppery hot sauce, originated in 1964 at the Anchor Bar & Grill in Buffalo New York.
It would be hard to surmise the grand total of wings consumed by Americans since the 1960’s. Thousands of restaurants across the country offer them as either an appetizer or, like Quaker Steak & Lube® restaurants – a main feature. Quaker Steak & Lube® first opened its doors in 1974 and quickly fell hard for Hot Wings, supplying guests wings with anything and everything they ordered. Starting as a cook your own steak restaurant The Lube® began to serve one wing on every plate that left the kitchen. “Hot Wings…Cold Beer” a moniker still in use today as the company grows harkens to the fanfare that has been received over the past 37 years. Nearly to the billionth wing sold, Quaker Steak & Lube® is looking forward to a big celebration when that benchmark is reached.
When it comes to wing sauce, something that Quaker Steak & Lube® prides itself on with over 20 homemade recipes currently available in all of the franchise’s restaurants and for sale online, a question does arise: is there such a thing as too hot?
“The peppers of the world are out there to be eaten, and we will keep finding the hottest ones we can get our hands on. They come together to make some pretty violent sauces, but our fans love them,” says Bob Mentrek, Sr. VP of Marketing and Events for Quaker Steak & Lube®, speaking mainly of the Atomic and Triple Atomic varieties which carry 150,000 and 500,000 SHU ratings, respectively. He goes on to say, “Though the popularity of all our sauces is pretty inspiring. We have fans of all kinds, over 12,000 people attempt our Atomic Wing Challenges each year.”
So the next time you’re dining out and are tempted to order the chicken wings (hopefully you’re at a Quaker Steak & Lube®) kick it up a little with a fiery sauce. Spicy foods are said to speed up your metabolism, improve digestion, circulation and sleep patterns – they also taste great! And to the Chicken Wing devotees – we’ll see you at Buffalo Wing Festival 2012 in Buffalo New York!
For more information about Quaker Steak & Lube®, please visit quakersteakandlube.com.
Founded in 1974 and built in an abandoned gas station in Sharon, Pa., the original Quaker Steak & Lube® began as a cook-your-own steak restaurant, before expanding to over 40 locations throughout the United States and Canada. The unique décor, including race cars suspended from the ceilings, motorcycles, Corvettes and gas station memorabilia, combined with the crave-able food and high-octane events has afforded The Lube® a cult-like fan following. Today, Quaker Steak & Lube® has become one of the fastest-growing restaurant chains in the country, and has won hundreds of national and international awards for its wings and over 20 different wing sauces. Most recently it was named the 2010 Festival Favorite at the National Buffalo Wing Festival in Buffalo, New York. For more information visit www.quakersteakandlube.com.