Quaker Steak & Lube Unveils New 'Express' Model
Quaker Steak & Lube is hitting the road to growth by launching a new quick-service concept and limited time development incentives set to drive aggressive franchise expansion.
The fun family casual dining brand, operated and franchised by TravelCenters of America's TA Restaurant Group, opened the first Quaker Steak & Lube Express in January at the TA travel center in Gary, Indiana. The express model, featuring counter-service dining in a food court-style setting, provides the beloved restaurant chain’s loyal guests a way “to enjoy QSL on the go,” notes Bruce Lane, Vice President of Operations and Franchise Services of Quaker Steak & Lube, acquired by Fortune 500 multi-brand heavyweight TravelCenters of America in 2016.
The debut of Quaker Steak & Lube Express comes as the franchise kicks expansion plans into high gear with incentives aimed at multi-unit development. Through April 30, the brand, known for award winning food, including wings and more than 20 sauces, will waive development fees for franchisees that sign on to open more than one Quaker Steak & Lube restaurant. Additionally, new owners can take advantage of 50 percent off of the initial franchise fee and discounted royalty fees.
Quaker Steak & Lube has spent the past year revitalizing the iconic brand, streamlining operations, and fine tuning the food and beverage menu to best serve their customers. The restaurant chain will also introduce a new look in 2018 and offer more flexible build-out options, as the brand looks to attract new franchisee candidates in growth markets across the country.
“We are fueling our efforts to aggressively expand,” Lane says. “These special incentives come at a great time for the brand as we are looking for additional franchisees to help carry on the legacy of what Quaker Steak & Lube has become—while bringing our new and improved look, as well as our new Quaker Steak & Lube Express concept, to markets across the country. This is a one-of-a-kind opportunity and we are thrilled to meet entrepreneurs that are interested in taking advantage of the offer and growing the brand.”
Adding Quaker Steak & Lube Express to a franchise development fold that includes full-service freestanding restaurants and endcap building designs, is all about growth. Along with travel centers, the quick service model gives the brand the ability to boost its presence in strip malls, universities, airports, and other unique, high traffic sites.
No matter the size of the structure, the high-quality food that Quaker Steak & Lube is known for, remains the same, notes Lane.
“The overall goal was to uphold a high level of quality and consistency to ensure that customers get the same exact experience at either location,” notes Lane. “If we couldn’t produce a menu item quickly enough, we did not add it to the Express menu.”
The Express design includes a mix of tables and booths to accommodate more than 110 customers, and multiple wall-mounted televisions to allow guests to watch their favorite sporting events.
“We’ve also incorporated community tables in the Express design which we’ve found truck drivers to especially enjoy after being on the road for hours,” Lane adds.
The franchise expects to add up to six corporate-owned Express locations in travel centers in 2018, and is fielding interest by existing franchisees to expand with the walk-up concept in strip centers, end caps, and through conversion of free-standing quick service restaurants.
For new and existing franchisees looking to expand, Quaker Steak & Lube Express represents a solid investment, notes Lane.
“We are able to be flexible in the design and application, which is very attractive to those looking for a smaller footprint,” says Lane. “This option opens up the ability for QSL to find a home in local communities all over, since there is a lower investment cost and the same amount of return on sales and revenue.”
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