|Type||Privately held company|
|Founded||(July 23, 1964)|
|Founder(s)||Forrest and Leroy Raffel|
|Headquarters||Sandy Springs, Georgia, U.S.|
|Number of locations||More than 3,400 (approx.)|
|Key people||Paul Brown, CEO
George Condos, COO & ARG President
Rob Lynch, CMO & Brand President
David Pipes, CFO
Sandwiches (roast beef • chicken) • milkshakes • salads • french fries
|Revenue||US$ 1.2637 billion (2007)|
|Operating income||US$ 9.4 million (2007)|
|Net income||US$ 16.1 million (2007)|
|Employees||Nearly 70,000 (2013)|
|Parent||Roark Capital Group (81.5 %); The Wendy's Company (18.5 %)|
Arby's Restaurant Group, Inc. is the second largest quick-service sandwich chain in the U.S. with more than 3,400 restaurants system wide. Roark Capital Group acquired the company in July 2011 and owns 81.5% of the company, with Wendy's Company owning the other 18.5%. In addition to its classic Roast Beef and Beef 'n Cheddar sandwiches, made in store daily, Arby's is also known for its deli-style Market Fresh line of sandwiches and salads, Curly Fries and Jamocha Shakes. Its headquarters are in Sandy Springs, Georgia.
As of January 9, 2013, there were 1,013 company-owned restaurants and 2,347 franchised restaurants. There are international locations in four countries outside of the United States, to wit: Canada, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, and Qatar. It also owns the franchise T.J. Cinnamons that, as of December 2012, has locations worldwide.
Arby's was founded in Boardman, Ohio, in 1964 by Forrest and Leroy Raffel, owners of a restaurant equipment business who believed there was a market opportunity for a fast food franchise based on a food other than hamburgers. The brothers wanted to call their restaurants "Big Tex", but that name was already used by an Akron business. Instead, they chose the name "Arby's", based on R. B., the initials of Raffel Brothers.
The Raffel brothers opened the first new restaurant in Boardman, Ohio, just outside Youngstown, on July 23, 1964. They initially served only roast beef sandwiches, potato chips, and soft drinks. A year later, the first Arby's licensee opened a restaurant in Akron, Ohio. The famous Arby's "hat" was designed by the original sign makers, Peskin Sign Co. Expansion to other states began in 1968, beginning in Pittsburgh (the closest large out-of-state market to Youngstown) and Detroit. The restaurants were initially designed to be more upscale than their hamburger competitors.
During the 1970s, the expansion of Arby's took place at a rate of 50 stores per year. During this time it created several menu items, including the Beef 'n Cheddar, Jamocha Shakes, Curly Fries and two signature sauces: Arby's BBQ Sauce and Horsey Sauce. In 1981 it added chicken along with opening store number 1,000. It became the first restaurant in the fast food industry to offer a complete "lite" menu in 1991 with several sandwiches and salads under 300 calories and 94 percent fat free.
In 1984, Southeastern Public Service Company, a DWG Corporation subsidiary, purchased Arby's. With a new owner of DWG Corporation and a new name, Triarc Companies, Inc., a former PepsiCo executive, Don Pierce, was brought in to "resurrect" Arby's. With $100 million additional funding, Pierce moved to a new "Roast Town" concept, similar in format to Boston Market. In 1997, the Roast Town concept received poor marks in market tests. Pierce and his team left the company and it sold all of its 354 company-owned locations to RTM Restaurant Group, an existing Arby's franchise, for $71 million.
In 2002, Arby's returned to operating restaurants by purchasing the second largest Arby's franchisee, Sybra Inc., with 293 locations out of bankruptcy outbidding RTM so as to prevent RTM from becoming too large. RTM was purchased by Arby's on July 25, 2005.
In 2008, Triarc purchased Wendy's, and changed its name to Wendy's/Arby's Group, to reflect their core businesses. In January, 2011, it was announced that Wendy's/Arby Group were looking into selling the Arby's side of the business to focus on the Wendy's brand. It was officially announced the companies would split on January 21, 2011. On June 13, 2011, Wendy's/Arby's Group Inc. announced that it would sell the majority of its Arby's chain to Roark Capital Group, maintaining an 18.5% stake in the company.
In February 2006, Arby's became the first fast food chain in the US to claim to not use any artificial additives in its chicken products; along with this claim came an advertising campaign which criticized Wendy's, McDonald's and Burger King for their use of additives such as water, salt and phosphates in their chicken products.
In November 2006, Arby's announced that they were eliminating all trans-fats from their menu, to be implemented by May 2007, being the first major fast food restaurant to do so.
In early 2006, Arby's Restaurant Group signed a contract with Pepsi, making Pepsi the chain's exclusive soft drink provider. When franchisees' contracts expire with Coca-Cola, they will be required to switch to Pepsi-Cola, the lone being the Arby's located at Youngstown State University because the University has its own separate contract with Coca-Cola for other university purposes, particularly the athletic department. This Arby's closed in mid-2012 when construction began to convert the location into a Wendy's.
In 2011, Arby’s introduced Ultimate Angus, a premium, 100% Black Angus beef featured in freshly prepared sandwiches. In 2012, Arby’s launched a line of premium turkey sandwiches called Hot Turkey Roasters.
Like many companies they own several trademarks for their products. These include "Arby's", "Arby's Market Fresh", "Market Fresh", "Horsey Sauce" and "Sidekickers".
Current Arby's locations:
- United Arab Emirates
- United States (every state except Rhode Island and Vermont)
Former Arby's countries:
- Australia [closed in the 2000s]
- Mexico [closed in the 2000s]
- Ecuador [closed in the 1990s]
- Brazil [closed in the 1990s]
- Chile [closed in the 1990s]
- Japan [closed in the 1990s]
- Netherlands [closed in the 1990s]
- Poland [closed in the 1990s]
- United Kingdom [closed in the 2000s]
- Jordan [closed in late 1990s]
- Egypt [closed in late 1990s]
- Qatar [closed in early 1990s]
- Indonesia [closed in the 1990s]
- Kuwait [closed in the 1990s]
- Philippines [closed in the 1990s]
- Malaysia [closed in the 1990s]
- Portugal [closed in late 1990s]
In November 2002, Access Now filed a lawsuit against RTM, then a franchise of TriArc, that some 800 of their stores did not comply with ADA. The lawsuit had no liability damages except for lawyer fees. In August 2006, the court accepted the settlement between RTM and Access Now. The result is every year 100 of the RTM stores are retrofitted to comply with ADA. Accordingly it is estimated that about $1.2 million will be spent to retrofit those stores each year.
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- Jargon, Julie; Gasparro, Annie (June 13, 2011). "Wendy's Parts With Arby's Roast-Beef Chain". The Wall Street Journal. p. B8.
- PepsiCo – News Release
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