Money & Career
I-10 Hospitality
7/8/2014 12:10:41 PM


Thomas Watson, Sr., once said that to be successful, you have to have your heart in your business, and your business in your heart. This is a thought that seems to be driving the executive team of i-10 Hospitality, a Louisiana-based management company specializing in restaurant, hotel and gaming development, management and consulting services.

The company was founded in 2013 by 20-year veteran of the hospitality and gaming industries, Geno Iafrate (Dream Weaver aka president and CEO), along with Keith Portie (The Magician aka president and CDO, Ryan Simmons (Ops Ninja aka vice president and CMO) and Tyler Conover (Idea Guy aka vice president & CMO). With their corporate office in Sulphur, i-10’s first order of business was to sign an area development agreement with Quaker Steak & Lube® that will bring multiple locations of the franchise from cities located along the I-10/I-12 corridor from Beaumont, Texas to Destin, Florida.

"We believe that you can have fun, have a successful business and make a difference, all at the same time,” says Conover. "We hope to differentiate ourselves from other similar companies by using our expertise in marketing, operations and finance. Outside of that thought social responsibility is a major priority.”

The desire to be a good community partner is why all of their Quaker Steak & Lube locations, including the first location that opened July 2nd in Sulphur, will donate a minimum of one percent of their revenue to charity. It’s part of their three-pronged mission statement that involves having fun, prospering and making a difference.

"We selected Sulphur not only as our first location, but as the headquarters of our corporate offices because we love the area, love the people and saw a need for additional dining options,” Conover says. "In the future we will be building our own restaurant and hotel brands, but starting out with a great franchise like Quaker Steak & Lube allows us to start from a solid foundation. There’s a lot of flexibility with the Quaker Steak & Lube brand, which allows us to adapt each location to the market we are serving.”

With a strong background in gaming and hospitality from the executive leadership, i-10 Hospitality recognizes the importance of a positive culture for not only their customers, but their employees too.

"We know that the food product we provide is great, but it takes more than that to keep people coming back,” Conover adds. "We want our crew members to know that they are valued and have great opportunities available to them throughout our company. It’s simple. If they are happy and thriving then they will provide a great experience to our customers and the customers will want to return.”

As far as the Sulphur location of Quaker Steak & Lube goes, the group has made sure to add to some fun touches to make sure the experience is true to Southwest Louisiana.

"Our Backyard is an indoor/outdoor area that will feature a bar and more,” says Conover. "We will be having classic car cruise-ins with local car clubs, a weekly bike nite and we hope to bring in entertainment on a regular basis. We are working to harness the fun, carefree culture that is so embedded in the area.”

Quaker Steak & Lube will have Make a Difference Mondays as one way to give back to the community. In addition to this commitment, the corporation has signed on as a charity partner with No Kid Hungry®. As they open each restaurant, 10 percent of sales from opening week will be donated and then one percent of sales on an ongoing basis will be given to this nonprofit that has provided more than 34 million additional meals nationwide to kid’s who need them since forming in 2011.

I-10 Hospitality is working to build an entire strip center in Gonzales that will feature a second Quaker Steak & Lube and then it’s on to Denham Springs and Lafayette. As their company continues to grow, one thing remains certain according to Conover. "We want to carry our culture through from the start to finish on all of our projects. Streamlining processes and providing amazing experiences will always be a priority for us. Right now our focus is on Quaker Steak & Lube, but the sky is the limit for the future.”

For more information on I-10 Hospitality, visit For more information on Quaker Steak & Lube, located at 535 North Cities Service Hwy., visit

Posted by: Katie Harrington | Submit comment | Tell a friend

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