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Is Arby's having problems...

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by Starman, Jul 28, 2019.

  1. playthrough

    playthrough Moderator Staff Member

    White Castle was a late-night favorite in college. Had a big laugh when seeing that it closed shortly after I graduated -- I had to account for like 9 percent of their business.
    garrow, Chef2 and sgreenwell like this.
  2. Starman

    Starman Well-Known Member

    My brother was a franchise manager for Arby's, running three stores (including one of the 20 oldest locations) for about 15 years, so by second hand osmosis I learned quite a bit about the nuts and bolts and politics of the chain.

    Arby's did originally stand for, "America's Roast Beef, Yes Sir!"

    Ever since the 1960s they've been carrying on an internal battle between capitalizing on the "roast beef" angle, trying to be the best roast beef joint they can be, and trying to diversify, writing off "roast beef," and spreading out into other food categories.

    Thus they swing back and forth between high emphasis on "Yankee Pot Roast," "Au Jus Beef," "BBQ Supreme," Kings, Supers, Big Montana's, etc etc, and then swinging back to chicken, turkey, and "deli sandwiches."

    Problem is, their stockholder base has become so diverse and diluted (I think now, of course, they're owned by equity funds) that no one faction ever established as the "leadership" of the company, which results in wild changes in organizational direction from year to year.

    Functionally since the start, Arby's biggest problem has always been that their trademark/namesake roast beef comes in 12-pound chubs of processed meat (I may be off on the exact weight) which must be pre cooked for several hours, and then sliced for SANDWICHES!

    Although they've gotten better at it over the years, there's just really no way around the fact that in any given chub, 20-30 percent of it will be dry, stringy and tough.

    So if you get a sandwich made of the inner 70-80 percent, it's yummy and juicy and you think Arby's is the bomb. If you get the 20-30 percent of chewy leathery quasi-jerky, you wanna go to Subway, or swear off roast beef completely for a decade or two.
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2019
    Donny in his element likes this.
  3. TheSportsPredictor

    TheSportsPredictor Well-Known Member

  4. Starman

    Starman Well-Known Member

    He was ordering SANDWICHES!!
  5. Sam Mills 51

    Sam Mills 51 Well-Known Member

    It was one of their ad campaigns back in the day.
  6. Sam Mills 51

    Sam Mills 51 Well-Known Member

  7. Starman

    Starman Well-Known Member

    They used to have a Beef & Swiss that kicked ass. And for potatoes, it was their Potato Cakes that ruled.

    My Arby's-manager brother used to
    report from corporate meetings that among the perennial bones of contention in the company were recurring attempts to get rid of Potato Cakes, since they're a unique/idiosyncratic food item requiring special storage, cooking and display, and they're derided as an "old school" menu item by many of the "go-go-lets-be-the-new-Subway" factions.

    But every time they try to do it, people bitch. They tried "stealth surveying" in which selected stores would inadvertently "run out" of Potato Cakes, to see how many complaints they'd get: usually, quite a few.

    OTOH, nobody ever talks much about getting rid of Curly Fries.
  8. Donny in his element

    Donny in his element Well-Known Member

    I’m still pissed they got rid of the homestyle fries. Don’t love the curly fries. And the “five for $5 regular roast beefs” were can’t miss from a budget perspective.
    BurnsWhenIPee likes this.
  9. BurnsWhenIPee

    BurnsWhenIPee Well-Known Member

    Also miss the homestyle fries. As I get older, I find that the curly fries just tear me up.

    A big fan of their gyros, too. The 2 for $6 beef and cheddar is right in my wheelhouse, but I really love their regular, plain roast beef sandwiches. The price for those has gotten out of control.
    Donny in his element likes this.
  10. poindexter

    poindexter Well-Known Member

    swingline likes this.
  11. Webster

    Webster Well-Known Member

    Sir, this is a message board
  12. Chef2

    Chef2 Well-Known Member

    I'm convinced their potato cakes with Horsey Sauce come from an address marked "Heaven".
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