Arby’s plans major redesign of restaurants

Arby’s is going for a new look and feel, joining competitors that have not only updated menus with healthier options but also the customer experience with more comfortable seating, Wi-Fi, TV monitors and new interior and exterior hues and signage.

Atlanta-based Arby’s Restaurant Group said its restaurants will be remodeled and employees will be retrained. The project coincides with the company’s 50th anniversary this year. Arby’s operates and franchises nearly 3,400 restaurants worldwide.

Rivals Chick-fil-A, McDonald’s, Burger King and Wendy’s, among others, continue to roll-out more contemporary looks. In many instances franchisees bear the cost of much of the remodeling. Arby’s has an arrangement with a lender that will provide the capital for a franchisee financing program.

Initially, at least 30 company-owned Arby’s restaurants will be remodeled in Huntsville, Ala.; Indianapolis, Ind.; Youngstown, Ohio; and Salt Lake City, Utah. The project will expand next year to more markets. The company said it tested the new design last year and during the early part of this year.

“Since the start of roll-outs in early 2014, the revitalized restaurants have seen an average of nearly 20 percent in sales increases, which further supports our focused efforts on this front,” President and Chief Operating Officer George Condos said in a statement.

Arby’s exterior design will include cantilevered red awnings at entrances and drive-thrus, new signage, wood tones, white brick, new lighting and landscaping. Inside, customers will see new colors, tiling and more stainless steel in the kitchen area. Employees will attend half-day “brand camps” on delivering better customer service.

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