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Privately held company
Industry Restaurants
Founded Boardman, Ohio (July 23, 1964; 51 years ago (1964-07-23))
Founder Forrest Raffel
Leroy Raffel
Headquarters Sandy Springs, Georgia, U.S.
Number of locations
Area served
Key people
Paul Brown, CEO
George Condos, COO & ARG President
Products Fast food
Sandwiches (roast beef • Angus beef • chicken • turkey) • salads • french fries • onion rings • potato cakes • mozzarella sticks • soft drinks • ice tea • milkshakes • desserts • and a complete breakfast menu served daily from 6:00 AM until 10:30 AM
Services Franchising
Revenue Increase US$1.2637 billion (2007)[1]
Increase US$9.4 million (2007)[1]
Increase US$16.1 million (2007)[1]
Owner Roark Capital Group (81.5 %); The Wendy's Company (18.5 %)
Number of employees
Nearly 70,000 (2013)[2]
Slogan We Have the Meats

Arby's Restaurant Group, Inc. (/ˈɔːrbiz/) is the second largest quick-service sandwich chain in the U.S. with more than 3,400 restaurants system wide.[3]

Roark Capital Group acquired the company in July 2011 and owns 81.5% of the company, with The Wendy's Company owning the other 18.5%. In addition to its classic Roast Beef and Beef 'n Cheddar sandwiches,[4] Arby's products also include deli-style Market Fresh line of sandwiches, Curly Fries and Jamocha Shakes.[4] Its headquarters is in Sandy Springs, Georgia.[5][6]

As of December 31, 2015, there were 2369 restaurants.[7] There are international locations in four countries outside of the United States: Canada, Turkey, United Arab Emirates and Qatar.[8]


An Arby's franchise with vintage sign in Midland, Michigan. Very few locations still carry this sign.
Arby's former location inside Kilcawley Center on the campus of Youngstown State University in Youngstown, Ohio, Arby's home market. This location closed in July 2012 when construction began to convert the space into a Wendy's.[9]

Arby's was founded in Boardman, Ohio, in July 23, 1964 by Forrest (1922–2008) and Leroy Raffel (1926), 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.[10]

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.[11] 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 Sauce and Horsey Sauce. In 1981 it added chicken along with opening store number 1,000 (Loves Park, IL). 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.[10]

In 1984, Southeastern Public Service Company, a DWG Corporation subsidiary, purchased Arby's.[12] 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.[13]

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.[13] RTM was purchased by Arby's on July 25, 2005.[14]

In 2008, Triarc purchased Wendy's, and changed its name to Wendy's/Arby's Group, to reflect their core businesses.[15][16] In January, 2011, it was announced that Wendy's/Arby's Group were looking into selling the Arby's side of the business to focus on the Wendy's brand.[17] It was officially announced the companies would split on January 21, 2011.[18] 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.[19]


Arby's medium roast beef sandwich with curly fries
"Beef-n-Cheddar" sandwich

In addition to roast beef, deli style sandwiches, called "Market Fresh Sandwiches," are sold at Arby's. The original lineup of sandwiches included Roast Beef and Swiss, Roast Turkey and Swiss, Roast Ham and Swiss, and Roast Chicken Caesar. With the exception of the Chicken Caesar, all Market Fresh Sandwiches came with the standard toppings of spicy brown honey mustard, mayonnaise, red onion rings, green leaf lettuce, tomato slices and sliced Swiss cheese. Additions to the Market Fresh lineup included Roast Turkey Ranch and Bacon and the Ultimate BLT. Another sandwich, the LTO Market Fresh Five-Star Club, served on Harvest White Bread, was offered for a limited time, but did not remain on the menu. The line was again expanded to include other styles of specialty sandwiches, the Italian Beef and Provolone and Pot Roast sandwich, served on baguettes.[citation needed]

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,[20] the only exception was 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.[9]

In October 2013, Arby’s introduced its most successful offering, the Smokehouse Brisket sandwich.[21]

In September 2014, Arby's introduced gyros to its menu for a limited time.[22]

Global locations[edit]

Current Arby's locations:

Former Arby's countries:

Legal issues[edit]

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 the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (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 the ADA. Accordingly, it is estimated that about $1.2 million will be spent to retrofit those stores each year.[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Triarc. "2007 Annual Report" (PDF). Triarc. 
  2. ^ Bramhall, Joe. "Arby's – Company Overview". Hoovers. Retrieved October 24, 2008. 
  3. ^ "2nd-largest quick-serve sandwich chain commits to crate-free pork supply". Retrieved April 5, 2013. 
  4. ^ a b The Arby's Foundation (January 10, 2013). "Arby's Foundation Invests $3 Million In The Fight To End Childhood Hunger In Georgia". 
  5. ^ "Privacy Policy." Arby's. Retrieved February 25, 2010.
  6. ^ "City Council Districts." City of Sandy Springs. Retrieved on July 4, 2009.
  7. ^
  8. ^ "Arby's - FAQ". Arby's®. 
  9. ^ a b Alquist, Kevin. "Wendy’s to replace Arby’s in Kilcawley Center". Retrieved 6 January 2013. 
  10. ^ a b "Arby's – FAQ". 
  11. ^ Trax Page, Margie (November 23, 2009). "Hats Off to Arby's". Star Beacon. Retrieved December 2, 2009. 
  12. ^ "Triarc Companies, Inc. Company History". Funding Universe. Retrieved June 17, 2008. 
  13. ^ a b "RTM Restaurant Group, International Directory of Company Histories. The Gale Group, Inc, 2006.". Retrieved April 5, 2013. 
  14. ^ "RTM Restaurant Group: Private Company Information". Bloomberg BusinessWeek. Bloomberg L.P. Retrieved August 1, 2011. 
  15. ^ "Triarc, Owner of Arby's, to Buy Wendy's". The New York Times. April 24, 2008. Retrieved August 17, 2011. 
  16. ^ "Triarc and Wendy's Shareholders Approve Merger". 
  17. ^ "Wendy's/Arby's Group Considers Sale of Arby's Chain – DailyFinance". Retrieved January 20, 2011. 
  18. ^ "American Fast Food: From Supersize to Downsized – Yahoo!". yahoo. Retrieved January 21, 2011. 
  19. ^ Jargon, Julie; Gasparro, Annie (June 13, 2011). "Wendy's Parts With Arby's Roast-Beef Chain". The Wall Street Journal. p. B8. 
  20. ^ "News Release". 
  21. ^ "Arby’s: Bullish on brisket". 
  22. ^ "Arby's Becomes Largest Chain Ever to Launch Gyros". Foodbeast. 

External links[edit]