United States Beef Corp., Arby’s largest franchisee, announced it has acquired the Arby’s restaurant at 3501 Vine in Hays from Trisha St. Peter, president and CEO of R & E Enterprises, effective July 1.

An operations consultant for McDonald’s before purchasing the Hays Arby’s in 1994, St. Peter has been a successful restaurateur in the Hays community.

U.S. Beef CEO John Davis is excited for the opportunity to expand the corporation's reach in Kansas.

“We’ve always had a strong presence in Kansas, and always respected Ms. St. Peter and her operation in Hays,” he said. “This community certainly craves its Arby’s, and it’s our full intention to continue the excellent service that Hays has come to expect from their great team.

“One of our strategies is to continue to grow organically and through acquisition if it fits in our business model to expand contiguously. We currently own 53 Arby’s restaurants in Kansas, and Hays will be our 54th. We want to give the warmest welcome to our new team members and associates in Hays to the U.S. Beef family.”

St. Peter was excited for her employees with the acquisition.

“Candidly, this was a bittersweet decision for me,” St. Peter said. “I love my employees and this community. But U.S. Beef isn’t the largest Arby’s franchisee by accident. They’re incredible operators, the gold standard at Arby’s, and have a genuine family culture that made it attractive for me to sell. Being with a larger company, my employees will have access to many more benefits than I could give them owning just a single restaurant. U.S. Beef will be able to leverage their technology and training strengths, creating more opportunities for my employees and their careers. It’s a win-win.”

With the acquisition, U.S. Beef now operates more than 350 restaurants in the contiguous Midwest and western states of Washington, Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri and Illinois. It has plans to open two more restaurants in Kansas in 2017.