The industry veteran has overseen the development of more than 80 units for the QSR brand.
With nearly 900 restaurants across the country, Checkers & Rally's is an iconic franchise brand that is still aggressively expanding across the country. The franchise’s commitment to being a place where franchisees and employees who work hard can create opportunities for themselves, their families and their communities has made it one of the most sought-after brands in the industry.
Checkers & Rally’s Director of Franchise Development Bruce Kim has been with the franchise for the last four years. A franchise development veteran, Kim has worked in the industry for over 15 years, in that time working for a variety of foodservice brands.
When Kim first arrived at Checkers & Rally’s, the brand claimed 800 units. Since then, the franchise has added more than 80 units, and Kim says much of that growth can be attributed to a few key upgrades.
“Over the last four years I’ve seen our design change our stores have changed,” Kim said. “We have come out with a ton of different menu items since I’ve been here and this has attributed to our growth.”
Kim says the food keeps customers coming in, but it’s the franchise’s favorable margins that support franchisee growth.
“Our food is great food at a value price, so customers are able to get more food for their money,” said Kim. “We are also able to grow because we make sure our franchisees are making money and encouraged to build more stores. We give our franchisees a network and the support to grow.”
Over the last few years, the brand rolled out its Model 4.0 design. The new design is constructed in a controlled environment off-site, loaded onto a truck, delivered to the plot of land where the restaurant will operate and lowered onto the site by a crane. Kim says the new design has been instrumental to the franchise’s recent expansion.
“This new design shaves weeks off of the development process and eliminates the worry of other construction concerns like weather delays,” said Kim.
The new design also costs about $100,000 less than a normal building, so franchisees are able to build more locations.
Multi-unit restaurant owners are another huge part of the brand’s successful expansion. In fact, Kim says 86 percent of the chain’s existing franchisees are looking to add restaurants to their portfolios.
“I enjoy working with multi-unit owners because they tend to be savvy business owners and have great ideas,” said Kim. “We are able to help them grow because we are in the business as well. Checkers & Rally’s owns 256 units and that means is we are in the game, so we know things that franchisees know before they have to tell us. We feel the joys and pain that they also feel. We know what they are going through on a daily basis.”
Checkers & Rally’s is continuing to expand throughout the United States. The chain plans to open more than 60 stores in 2018 alone, with an eye toward attracting more multi-unit operators.
“The more stores we open, the more customers we get, the more marketing dollars we get, the more franchisees we get,” he said. “Keep customers happy and keep selling quality food and they will keep coming back.”