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Arby’s Leadership Addresses Virtual 2020 Franchise Owners Meeting

By Raj Prashad

After more than a year as President of Arby’s, Jim Taylor hosted more than 600 franchisees, franchise employees and corporate team members at the virtual Arby’s Franchise Owners Meeting. Taylor reflected on another successful year for the brand where Arby’s continued to outperform the industry, welcoming more than 16 million new guests in 2020.

Taylor said that Arby’s is positioned for growth, and there’s no greater opportunity than now to invest in the future of the largest drive-thru sandwich chain in the United States.*

“We’ve been able to sustain our growth through core menu news and premium LTO innovation, giving our guests uniqueness and breadth of appeal,” said Taylor.

In order to deliver these amazing results despite the challenges of COVID-19, Arby’s has leaned on its winning culture, ensuring an exceptional experience for both its guests and employees.

“Our team is motivated to Get It Done with team members working together through different operating models for peak efficiency throughout COVID-19,” Taylor said. “We continue to Make a Difference in our communities to help first responders and those in need. And we continue to Dream Big on building our success from here.”

John Kelly, Chief Operations Officer

Although 2020 has provided a unique set of challenges, under John Kelly’s guidance, Arby’s has embraced and adapted quickly to the ever-changing environment to be “better today than we were yesterday.

While functioning in a nimble and agile fashion through a mix of delivery, drive-thru, partial dining and carry out, a focus on supporting Arby’s people and culture has allowed the brand to consistently improve its operations.

“Great culture helps us keep our restaurants staffed, attract new candidates and sets us apart,” Kelly said. “And our one-of-a-kind training program, Brand Champ, teaches our team members to treat each other and every single one of our guests with respect, always.”

To ensure a consistently positive guest experience, Arby’s is continuing to innovate and build processes through a variety of technological advancements.

“We’re testing digital drive-thru menus with confirmation boards to improve order accuracy and other technology to increase capacity, implementing and leaning on ItsaCheckmate to capture third-party and mobile order-ahead transactions and working on personalized offers that help create a modernized experience for our most loyal, as well as future new guests,” Kelly said.

As Arby’s builds on a decade of growth, the brand will continue to identify opportunities to bring more Arby’s to more guests.

“I could not be more proud of our system, which has never been stronger in communication, compliance, Inspiring Delightful Experiences to our guests and taking care of our restaurant teams,” Kelly said.

Patrick Schwing, Chief Marketing Officer

Just six months after joining Arby’s, Patrick Schwing has plenty to proudly reflect on. After helping to implement the 2 for $6 Everyday platform, effective and efficient media and cost innovation on ad production, Schwing is eager to continue helping Arby’s distinguish itself in the crowded QSR space.

“Arby’s has successfully grown by focusing on a primary LTO strategy, which has driven current brand perceptions,” Schwing said. “To introduce more guests, we’ll have a balanced approach to culinary innovation with a focus on better fast food, broader appeal and delightful experiences.

“A recent example of this is fish, where we elevated guests’ expectations of what QSR fish should be by comparing it to the fish filet they’ve been settling for.”

Schwing emphasized that Arby’s will continue to have a distinct voice in the QSR category and will never compromise on craveable food and its heritage of meat expertise.

“Arby’s will continue to provide noticeably superior products, everyday value and compelling communications,” Schwing said. “We have set the bar high in 2020. We have the right consumer targets, product innovation and media support to continue outpacing the industry. And after six months, I’m confident in the Arby’s team and believe the Inspire model will continue to be a competitive advantage.”

*Arby’s has more drive-thru restaurants in the U.S. than any other QSR Sandwich franchise brands as of 2019. Based on Restaurant Trends data. Results exclude Burger/Chicken franchises from the Sandwich category.