Industry News | June 2, 2000

Checkers Fires Up New Product Test

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Early results from Checkers Drive-in Restaurants' Miami test market—where their new, "Screamin' Chicken Strips(TM)'' Snack Pack and Meal Deal "in a box'' have been in place since April—have been very successful.

"We have seen comp sales results exceeding all expectations since the test first began,'' stated Richard Turer, vice president of marketing. Screamin' Chicken Strips are highly seasoned chicken strips served three ways in a special carrier ("High Performance Human Fuel(TM) Box"). The two-piece snack is complemented with Checkers Famous Hot Fries and is priced at $2.49.The three-piece combo meal comes with an extra strip and cole slaw and sells for $3.99. The combo is complete with an icy Coke for $4.79. All come complete with Buffalo sauce and Ranch dressing served right in the box.

"Screamin' Chicken has achieved a sales mix well above that of past product tests. It appears food cost has also been affected positively and check average is well above comparable markets,'' continued Turer. Checkers has supported this test with interactive voice response cards to help gather product ratings from their guests and has also implemented exit interviews to gather verbatims. "Guests simply call in after their visit and respond to a few simple questions with IVR. We reward them for their time by providing a gift certificate valid for a future visit. We, in turn, have been rewarded with product ratings simply off the charts,'' stated Turer.

"Marketing and Operations have hit a home run with 'Screamin' Chicken Strips,'" said Daniel J. Dorsch, president and CEO. "This product is being thoroughly tested and should secure a place on our promotional calendar sooner than planned. We will continue to work with the franchised community to share these results and seek their assistance in moving to a national roll-out as quickly as possible.''

Checkers Drive-In Restaurants, Inc. merged with Rally's Hamburgers, Inc. in 1999.