Quaker Steak & Lube® Taps Veteran Chain Restaurant CEO Ken Cole to Power Growth2008-02-25 19:35:31
Sharon, Pa. – Quaker Steak & Lube, the casual dining chain known for hot wings and hot wheels, is revving up its growth plans with the hiring of veteran restaurant executive Ken Cole as president and CEO.
Cole this week announced his resignation as president and CEO of Sizzler USA, the 223 unit casual dining chain based in Los Angeles. Quaker Steak & Lube’s founders, George Warren and Gary Meszaros, who have been serving as president and CEO and vice president and COO respectively, will become executive vice presidents and vice chairmen of the chain’s board of directors.
Quaker Steak & Lube has 29 franchised and company-owned motor sports-themed restaurants in 10 states. The first location opened in a converted Sharon gas station in 1974. Franchising began in 1997.
“The Quaker Steak & Lube concept has evolved from a single restaurant into a very successful chain with tremendous potential,” said Michael J. Stack, chairman of Quaker Steak & Lube’s board of directors. “Quaker Steak & Lube is now at the point where Ken’s vast experience and knowledge will be extremely helpful in growing both our company and franchised restaurant base.”
During the last 18 months, Quaker Steak & Lube opened ten restaurants. It will open eight this year, with the goal to have 50 locations open by the end of 2009.
Cole, who is credited with rebuilding Sizzler during his seven years as CEO, also served as CEO of Blue Chalk Café, which operates the Left at Albuquerque chain, and Damon’s International, which owns and franchises Damon’s Grill restaurants. For Cole, the move to Quaker Steak & Lube brings him closer to home.
“Although my career has taken me all over the country, my family and my roots are nearby in West Virginia,” Cole said. “This is a very exciting and unique opportunity to help grow a great concept and maximize its potential, while also allowing my wife and me to be closer to our children and other family members.”
Cole’s first day at Quaker Steak & Lube will be February 25.
Quaker Steak & Lube was recently named a Top 100 Emerging Chain Concept by Technomic Information Services, Inc. Often called “The Lube,” it was voted “Best Wings USA” in a national competition, and it has received hundreds of other awards for its signature chicken wings and sauces, other dishes, kids menu and unique décor. Visit www.quakersteakandlube.com for more information.
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