Company News

TravelCenters of America to Sell Quaker Steak & Lube Business

Says restaurant closures hurt sales in 2020
Photograph: Shutterstock

WESTLAKE, Ohio — TravelCenters of America (TA) is selling its Quaker Steak & Lube business, which includes 41 standalone restaurants, for approximately $5.0 million, excluding costs to sell and certain closing adjustments.

The sale comes at the end of a year where restaurant closures challenged overall company revenue.

"Total nonfuel revenues decreased 1.0% over the prior year period driven almost entirely by a decline in revenues at our full-service restaurants, many of which remain closed due to governmental mandates and our own precautions taken in response to the COVID-19 pandemic,” the company said Feb. 25 in a year-end earnings report.

As of Dec. 31, TA classified the Quaker Steak & Lube business as held for sale, and as a result, recorded an impairment charge of $13.7 million in the 2020 fourth quarter. Although it did not say who is buying the business, the “sale is expected to close during the 2021 first quarter; however, it is subject to certain conditions. Accordingly, TA cannot be certain that it will complete this sale, that this sale will not be delayed or that the terms will not change,” it said.

TA acquired Quaker Steak & Lube in 2016. It since has led a brand refresh that has included a new Quaker Steak & Lube Express walk-up concept and the addition of a corporate chef.

Excluding full-service restaurants, total nonfuel revenues improved 7.1% over the prior year “due to solid improvements in our store and retail services and truck service departments, as well as a significant improvement in revenues from diesel exhaust fluid,” the company said.

Overall in 2020, TA saw total revenues drop $1.27 billion to $4.85 billion. Fuel sales for the year declined about $1.2 billion to $3.08 billion, while nonfuel sales were down about $109 million to $1.75 billion.

Founded in 1972 and based in Westlake, Ohio, TA has more than 270 locations in 44 states and Canada. Offerings include diesel and gasoline, convenience stores, truck maintenance and repair, full-service and quick-service restaurants, car and truck parking and other services and amenities for professional drivers and the general motoring public. It operates nearly 650 full-service and quick-service restaurants and 10 proprietary brands, including Quaker Steak and Lube, Iron Skillet and Country Pride.

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