Category: Report Announcements


Hardee’s brand attributes as a regional chain with a Southeast & Midwest orientation include: made-from-scratch breakfast biscuits; made-to-order charbroiled burgers (with over-sized patties & Black Angus options); hand-breaded chicken tenders; charbroiled chicken line; hand-scooped ice cream shakes; and table service. Hardee’s is unique in that its high-margin breakfast business generates a material sales mix and efforts to extend breakfast hours to 2PM should increase brand appeal.

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New Unit Investment & Franchise Fees 2020 – 2021

New Unit Investment Report highlights: (1) the sales-to-investment ratio for $1B+ chains continues to trend down after peaking in 2013 as higher construction costs have outpaced the growth in new build AUVs; (2) new build ROI is also pressured by declining unit level margins; (3) declining trends are offset by appealing franchisor development incentives; (4) RR’s New Build vs. Buy Ratio rose for the 4rd consecutive year given a decline in store level acquisition multiples; (5) cost effective conversions seem to be the way to go post-lockdown; and (6) 4 chains introduced new building prototypes.

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Subway is the largest sub sandwich chain by far with the 2nd largest QSR ad spend behind McDonald’s. Guests move along Subway’s iconic make line, customizing sub sandwiches by choosing bread carriers, meats, cheeses, veggies and condiments/dressings. Core brand equity: customization (made-to-order); interaction between sandwich artists & guests; sub sandwiches which include lots of veggies (Subway prides itself on offering more veggies than anyone); and bread baked in-house.

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Denny’s unique “America’s Diner” brand positioning provides the promise of everyday value with craveable, indulgent products (comfort food) served around the clock in a friendly and welcoming atmosphere. Its “See You at Denny’s” messaging is designed to prompt consumers to check out the brand’s ongoing makeover which includes a menu overhaul using higher quality ingredients to go with remodeled stores featuring a more comfortable dining space. The chain’s core menu equity reflects: everyday value; LTO innovation; warm, friendly “come as you are” atmosphere; and 24/7 availability.

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Jersey Mikes

Jersey Mike’s “Sub Above” brand positioning is based upon: freshly sliced cold subs & grilled hot subs made with quality ingredients; signature Mike’s Way sandwich topping option, including a drizzling of “The Juice”; a great customer experience built upon conversational hospitality & fast service speed; and a charitable culture of “giving to give”. Its Northeast-style cold subs are made-to-order with private labeled meats sliced in front of customers and fresh-sliced cheeses & produce piled high on bread baked in-store. Hot subs emphasize grilling of Cheesesteaks (USDA choice top round roast beef cooked in-house) and Chicken Cheesesteaks.

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Arby’s strong and unique positioning is based upon a credible, affordable NY deli format (with a drive-thru) that bakes beef roasts and freshly slices all other roasts in-house to create fast-crafted, made-to-order hot deli sandwiches. “We Have the Meats” lineup includes a full selection of roast beef, beef brisket, corned beef, turkey, chicken & gyro and Arby’s sandwiches are distinguished by generous stacks of quality meat toppings (big, meaty sandwiches) with leading-edge protein variety which extends well beyond Arby’s core roast beef heritage.

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Burger King

Burger King’s well-conceived brand equity emphasizes flame grilling (over an open flame), highlighting a clear difference from griddling. The brand’s prominent burger platform (100% beef without fillers or preservatives) includes signature Whopper configurations and various “King” varieties. Its menu is bolstered by an upgraded chicken line and BK is testing a variety of products that can now be made on its new broiler. Further, popular meatless protein versions of signature menu items and healthful ingredient improvements are designed to expand the brand’s reach.

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