Inspire Brands is the umbrella group formed in 2018 following the purchase by Arby's of restaurant rival Buffalo Wild Wings. Both brands are among the Top 20 US chains by system sales. Arby's is best-known for freshly sliced hot roast beef sandwiches served burger-style in a round bun with curly fries. More recently it has expanded its menu into other meats, toasted subs and a variety of other deli-style meal items. NRN estimated US system sales of $3.6bn in 2017, putting the chain a distant second behind Subway in the limited service sandwich segment. It has 3,300 outlets in the US and a small but growing international presence, mainly in Canada but also Turkey and the Middle East. The business was owned for several years by investment group Triarc, but following the acquisition of larger chain Wendy's in 2008, the Arby's business became increasingly overshadowed. It was sold to private equity fund Roark Capital in 2011, and performance has improved significantly. In 2017, Roark funded the $2.9bn buyout of publicly quoted sports bar chain Buffalo Wild Wings (system sales of $3.75bn in 2017 from 1,200 US outlets). They are accompanied by emerging TexMex chain R Taco. Parent Roark also owns several other foodservice businesses including CKE (Carl's Jr & Hardee's) and Jimmy John's. They all operate separately. Arby's was founded in 1964 by brothers Leroy and Forest Raffel, already well-experienced in the food service business. The name was actually inspired by the initials for Raffel Brothers - or RB - but most customers have always assumed it stands for Roast Beef. Paul Brown is CEO of Inspire Brands, with Rob Lynch as president of Arby's. John Bowie is COO of Buffalo Wild Wings.
Capsule checked 18th August 2018
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Adbrands Account Assignments track account management for the world's leading brands and companies, including details of which advertising agency handles which accounts in which countries for major markets. Adbrands Weekly Update is a weekly summary of the latest news affecting leading advertisers and their advertising and marketing agencies.
Adbrands Weekly Update 30th Nov 2017: US restaurant chain Arby's clinched a deal to acquire rival Buffalo Wild Wings with an increase in its original offer from $2.3bn to $2.9bn including debt. Arby's CEO Paul Brown will lead both businesses; Buffalo's long-time leader Sally Smith had already announced plans to step down. The deal confirms Arby's private equity owner Roark Capital as one of the biggest players in US eateries. In addition to Arby's and now Buffalo Wild Wings it also owns a host of other chains including CKE's Carl's Jr and Hardee's, Jimmy John's, Cinnabon bakeries, Culver's, Moe's Southwest Grill and several others.
Adbrands Weekly Update 16th Nov 2017: Consolidation continues in the US restaurant industry. Roark Capital, the investment fund that owns Arby's, Hardee's, Carl's Jr and Jimmy John's, has offered to acquire casual dining chain Buffalo Wild Wings. The bid of $2.3bn represents a significant premium over Buffalo's current value, though still below past highs. The chain has suffered inconsistent performance in the past couple of years, and faces the imminent retirement of CEO Sally Smith, who has led the business for more than 20 years. Investors believe a rival bid might emerge over the coming weeks.
Adbrands Weekly Update 26th Sep 2013: Arby's announced the departure of CEO Hala Moddelmog in favour of George Condos, previously COO. At the same time, Rob Lynch was named as Arby's new chief marketing officer.
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