The next step was understanding how to properly tell the story of Roy Rogers and let the right stakeholders know it's franchising again. To help with that, the brand hired Trevelino/Keller, a public relations firm based in Atlanta. The company also onboarded a CRM solution, which wasn’t in place before Koffler’s arrival, and scheduled several trade shows.
“All in an effort to tell the story of the iconic Roy Rogers brand and why restaurateurs and developers should be taking a look at Roy Rogers at this time in terms of expanding their existing portfolios,” Koffler says.
Koffler explains 2021 is a foundational year, but he still has a goal to sign at least three multi-unit deals. In 2022, he hopes to bump it to 12 multi-unit agreements, and keep that cadence in the years to come. The strategy is to build concentrically out of core markets in the Mid-Atlantic, like Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania. The growth circle would slowly get bigger and include New York, the Eastern Seaboard, and states like Ohio, Tennessee, Florida, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia.
The franchise executive expects most of the growth to come from new franchisees, with existing operators expanding slightly. As far as what Roy Rogers will offer to potential partners, Koffler says there will be some considerations around value engineering and shrinking the dining room, but no formal plans have been put in place.
“We are a [quick-service restaurant], so we had some dine-in and we have of course the drive-thru,” Koffler says. “So that's our prototype moving forward. Because as we saw through 2020, the advent of having a drive-thru was a great benefit for us. From strictly a sales perspective, we had a very, very good year in 2020. We had an amazing year, in a pandemic year, and that is wholly contributed to the fact that we have a drive-thru. And so we saw our drive-thru business increase exponentially throughout last year. So we are firmly committed to the drive-thru model, knowing that it helped us navigated last year. And if anything of this nature happens again in the future, we’ll be well-positioned.”
Although no major changes are planned for the prototype, Roy Rogers is in the midst of an ongoing remodeling initiative. The redesign is split into two components—improving operations and enhancing the customer experience. Some of the notable improvements include: optimizing the drive-thru and back-of-house layout to reduce steps and increase speed of service, adding stack-stoned towers to the main entrance and drive-thru, and including a description of its food as a sub logo to raise awareness among new customers. There’s also a new color scheme, lighting fixtures, digital menu boards, artwork, flooring, furniture, seating arrangements, and a panel describing the company’s history.