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South Carolina Entrepreneur Builds Third Checkers & Rally's; Incorporates Sports Bar In Surfside Beach

Business-savvy property developer plans to open 20 Checkers locations across South Carolina.

By Brian Jaeger<p>1851 Contributor</p>
SPONSOREDUpdated 12:12PM 09/09/16

Checkers & Rally’s Restaurants, Inc. (Checkers®), an iconic restaurant chain, continues to expand its footprint by attracting business-savvy entrepreneurs seeking to join one of the fastest growing QSR brands. Checkers will soon be celebrating South Carolina entrepreneur Luigi Piccione’s third Checkers restaurant in May 2015, which will open next to his independent family-friendly bar, Luigi’s Sports Bar, at 1900 Highway 17 North, Surfside Beach, SC.

Piccione’s Surfside Beach Checkers will serve as the food provider for Luigi’s Sports Bar, and he plans to build 20 Checkers-sports bar locations across South Carolina. With his business model, Checkers patrons will be given a sit-down option, and his bar guests will have the ability to enjoy Checkers in the rear sports bar.

“Checkers continues to attract forward-thinking entrepreneurs, such as Luigi, who see the opportunities that the brand offers for expansion and innovation,” said Jennifer Durham, Vice President of Franchise Development for Checkers & Rally’s Restaurants, Inc. “We are fortunate to have a growing team of passionate franchisees who believe in the brand’s value to the community and to their personal goals.”

Piccione is an active business developer in the Carolinas—he invests in rental properties; owns the 5000 sq. ft. building in which his Checkers and sports bar will be built, and he plans to develop his fourth Checkers on his property in Little River. Piccione also recently became a franchisee of Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen; is the managing partner of Inlet Sports Lodge and Resort in Murrells Inlet; and co-owns Dirty Car Wash and Mobile 1 Express Lube in North Carolina. He also previously owned a large clinical pharmacology practice in New York, and then a prosthetics business that he sold to a public traded company in 2004.

“Checkers stands out because of the great food that they serve and the way that the company is run,” said Piccione. “I think the executive team is doing a great job at steering the brand in the right direction, and there are a lot of opportunities to grow with the brand.”

Checkers continues to add craveable menu selections and introduce daring flavors to its fans. Options such as Monsterella Stix, Cold Creations and the original Big Buford® aim to bring the freshest ingredients and boldest flavors to hungry guests. The company continues to innovate, and remains true to its commitment to provide crazy good food at an exceptional value.

“The Checkers franchise opportunity continues to draw interest from employees and savvy entrepreneurs alike who see our 30 years of experience, constant menu innovation and strong growth potential in new and existing markets as being a recipe for success,” Durham said. “Our latest franchisee is testament that passionate employees can find a place in the Checkers and Rally’s franchise family to build their own successful restaurant business.”

Checkers continues to grow, with opportunities for ownership available in Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Detroit, Los Angeles, Miami, Philadelphia, New York and Washington D.C., among other cities. The brand is coming off a highly successful 2014 in which they opened 35 new locations and crossed the 800 restaurant count mark. Checkers continued four straight years of positive system-wide comp sales in 2014, and the brand continues to grow, signing 65 new franchisees in the last two years. Checkers & Rally’s entered 2015 with more than 80 restaurant sites approved for development in 2015, and in the first two months of the year, the brand has already approved 10 new franchisees.

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