Quaker Steak & Lube names Lipper CEO
Quaker Steak & Lube named a seasoned restaurant industry executive to lead the car-themed chain as it makes an aggressive push to expand across the country at a time consumers have been more fickle about dining out.
Greg Lippert, the former CEO of Mazzio's LLC of Tulsa, takes over immediately as chief executive of the Sharon-based chain known for its wings and more than 25 signature sauces. He replaces Frederick Dreibholz, who was promoted to interim CEO when John Longstreet resigned in January. Dreibholz will return to his post as Quaker Steak's chief financial officer.
“Greg is a proven visionary leader, and we're excited to have him,” Debra Koenig, the company's chairman, said in a statement. “Adding a leader like Greg to our team will be instrumental to our continued growth and profitability. His skill set and insight into the restaurant industry will help propel our national expansion.”
Lippert could not be reached. Neither could Longstreet, who joined the Pennsylvania Restaurant & Lodging Association in the past week as president and CEO. The association represents more than 7,500 restaurant and lodging locations.
Quaker Steak said Lippert has been in the industry for 30 years and joined Mazzio's in 2005 as CEO. He resigned in October, according to a published report. Mazzio's is a fast-casual Italian restaurant chain that operates in Oklahoma, Texas, Mississippi, Arkansas, Missouri and Iowa.
Lippert directed Mazzio's, Zio's Italian Kitchen Brands and recently introduced Oliveto Italian Bistro.
Quaker Steak & Lube has more than 60 locations, opening 12 in 2013, including locations at Pittsburgh International Airport in May, in State College in October and in Mechanicsburg in November. It plans to open 11 in 2014.
The company, founded in 1974 in an abandoned gasoline station in Sharon, had fewer than 10 restaurants as recently as 2000. It has about 1,500 employees and had revenue of $144 million in 2012.
The chain is owned by 44 shareholders who bought into a private offering 10 years ago when the company started franchising.
John D. Oravecz is a Trib Total Media staff writer.