Arby’s is one of those love-it-or-hate-it fast food chains, like Taco Bell and Chick-fil-A. The chain that rose to fame with its roast beef is today still very much roast beef sandwich-centric, but also offers brisket, Angus steak, corned beef, ham, bacon, turkey, and chicken sandwiches, along with salads, wraps, and fried sides. But even if no lunch is complete without a Beef ‘n Cheddar, we bet that there are some things you didn’t know about this popular chain.
Arby’s got its start back in 1964, when brothers Leroy and Forrest Raffel realized that hamburgers dominated the fast food industry and saw an opening for roast beef. They wanted to name their restaurant Big Tex, but because the name was already taken they just shortened the name of their restaurant equipment company, Raffel Brothers, to a play on its initials. The first Arby’s opened in Boardman, Ohio (just outside Youngstown), on July 23, 1964, with a menu of only roast beef sandwiches, potato chips, and soft drinks.
The restaurant began selling franchises in 1965, and later came into its own as a company during the 1970s, when about 50 new locations were opening annually. In 1971, the roast beef recipe was reformulated into the more processed version you find today and the current logo was adopted in 1975. Menu items including the Beef ‘n Cheddar, Arby-Q, Jamocha Shakes, curly fries, Arby’s Sauce, and Horsey Sauce were also added during this decade.
Today, there are more than 3,400 Arby’s locations in the United States and Canada, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, and Qatar, and the chain is nothing short of a household name in America. Its advertising and social media game is on point, and for the most part it’s doing a pretty good job adapting to a twenty-first-century audience. Read on for 10 things you might not have known about Arby’s.
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