Burger franchise Checkers & Rally"s restaurant design features a closeup of the door kitchen and dual drive thrus. 


Burger franchise Checkers & Rally"s restaurant style features a close up door kitchen and twin drive thrus. 

Checkers Drive-In Restaurants, the parent agency of burgess franchise Checkers and also Rally’s, obtained a $20 million investment from Oak Hill resources Partners IV, the exclusive equity firm that bought Checkers in 2017. The capital injection will fund a five-year growth plan focused top top Checkers’ “Restaurant the the Future” design, which includes four elements—upgrading the kitchen, increasing crew comfort by enhancing break rooms, continuing to journey contactless procedures and finally, update the exterior look. 

The invest "has been in the functions for a while,” said Frances Allen, CEO in ~ Checkers due to the fact that February 2020. “When I acquired into this role, component of my project was to change the playbook in ~ Checkers & Rally’s and revitalize assets, which was always going to require capital, so it’s been a discussion from really early on, yet was put on hold during COVID-19.”


Frances Allen, the CEO in ~ Checkers Drive-In Restaurants together of February 2020.

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The Tampa, Florida-based brand"s playbook includes an upgraded kitchen, i m sorry Checkers an initial installed in a corporate ar in June and also then added three more in the fourth quarter the 2020. Checkers to plan to have 10 that company locations testing the brand-new kitchen through the end of January, proving the end the concept and also results before rolling it out to franchisees later this year in the 2nd and third quarters. 

“When we were feather at, ‘what should our new restaurant of the future look at like?’ we known that the heart of any restaurant is the kitchen, and our kitchen has not been updated in some time,” Allen said. “So the is a large opportunity for united state to carry out our guests through what they’re looking for, and also to enable that, we need to provide them v a repeatedly high-quality product an extremely quickly.”

The upgraded kitchen will function six new pieces of equipment, consisting of a display screen system to make it simpler for crew members to run the line, keep orders top top track and increase speed. Checkers will also replace all flat-top grills with clamshell grills.

“A flat-top grill is not very crew-friendly and leaves room because that a lot of of human being error, plus that takes a long time come recognize as soon as food demands to it is in flipped,” Allen said. “Changing that to a clamshell grill will certainly be much less complicated to learn and operate, plus the eliminates that person error. Commodities cooked ~ above the brand-new grill will come the end much more consistent.”

The new restaurant design may take 5 years to role out, however Allen expects the upgraded kitchen to be implemented much sooner. With 572 franchisee-owned units, some operators are really eager to upgrade their kitchens, Allen added.

“In mine very very first meeting ago in February, operator were talking around what they want to carry out with the kitchen, and also having operated in this service for a long time and also doing keep training at Jack in the Box, I can see the services of what castle were talk about,” Allen said. Franchisees "have to be leading that charge v the full support the our executive team, including our COO. It simply went on a hiatus throughout COVID as we had actually to transition our attention to 15 new operation steps to store employees and guests safe.”

Checkers opened up 37 new restaurants in 2020, happen its complete to nearly 900 units in 35 states and the ar of Columbia. In addition to broadening its entirety delivery and also e-commerce order-ahead routine last year, Checkers additionally launched its mommy Cruncher chicken sandwich. To encourage the brand-new product, the brand significant the brand-new year in a creative marketing stunt by “crunching” items indigenous 2020 throughout a monster truck event, running over props such together COVID-19, a canceled cruise, toilet paper, quarantine and also murder hornets.

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“Checkers has actually demonstrated strong performance period after period despite the far-ranging challenges brought by the events of 2020,” stated Peter Armstrong, primary of Oak Hill in a statement. “Company and also franchised restaurants tape-recorded high solitary digit same-store-sales gains in 2020 and also that momentum is proceeding into the an initial weeks that 2021 because of the strategic marketing and operations plans rolling out prior to the pandemic, i beg your pardon were intensified by the need for contactless drive-thru and also delivery experiences.”

The initial invest for a Checkers and also Rally’s franchise ranges from $96,414 come $1.5 million.