Arby’s has signed development agreements to build 25 new restaurants in the Chicagoland area over the next five years, including the downtown area, creating nearly 700 jobs in the process. The company has made the Windy City a priority growth market for the brand, seeking to triple its footprint in a metro where it already has 64 restaurants up and running.
Development agreements were signed with Pete Lyders-Petersen to open an initial 20 restaurants in the north and northwest Chicago suburbs as well as Faisal Merchant to open an initial five restaurants in downtown Chicago and the southwest Chicago suburbs. Lyders-Petersen and Merchant are new franchisees to the Arby’s system.
“We know how to develop strong-performing restaurants in large urban markets,” said Greg Vojnovic, chief development officer of ARG. “In Chicago, we’re proud to welcome Pete and Faisal—two proven multi-unit operators and developers who are adding Arby’s to their restaurant portfolios for the first time.”
“Arby’s has experienced strong growth in recent years,” said Merchant, who operates 19 Dunkin’ Donuts restaurants and three Wingstop restaurants in Chicago. “Every Arby’s franchisee I’ve spoken with loves the brand’s culture, and I’m excited to be a part of it.”
“I’ve been very impressed with the culture at Arby’s and their leadership team,” said Lyders-Petersen, who operates nearly 200 Taco Bell restaurants and 12 KFC restaurants throughout the Midwest. “The more I got to know the brand, the more it became clear that adding Arby’s to my restaurant portfolio was the right move to make.”
Arby’s has been working with franchisees to aggressively expand in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, Philadelphia, and Seattle. “There’s been a tremendous level of excitement and interest from franchisees regarding access to these large urban markets,” added Vojnovic.
Through the end of 2016, Arby’s global system achieved six consecutive years of same-store sales growth. At present, the brand’s average unit volume is $1.12 million, up 27% from 2013.