>Checkers Drive-In Restaurants, Inc. (Nasdaq: CHKR) and its franchisees are seeing eye to eye, as they collectively look at the corporation’s new business vision. Last week Checkers Drive-In Restaurants, Inc. held its first Franchise Convention in five years, the first time franchise owners from Checkers and Rally’s have assembled since the two companies merged in August of 1999. The convention is a direct reflection of new chief executive officer and president Daniel J. Dorsch’s passion for the industry and the renewed energy that emanates from the franchisees.
“The convention provided us with an opportunity to meet not only Dan for the first time, but also fellow franchise owners from the Checkers and the Rally’s organizations,” said Al Ruckriegel, a Rally’s franchise owner in Indiana. “Bringing the two brands together solidified the company goals and allows us to move forward as one company.”
The convention was held in Atlanta, where 150 franchisees came together for three days of vendor shows, networking and fun. The session kicked off with a motivational presentation by Dorsch. He arrived on stage with lights flashing and the music pounding as if a big name entertainer had arrived. “I have never been this motivated by a presentation before,” stated a franchisee. Everyone was on their feet, energized and focused during Dan’s talk. He jumped right to the point that Checkers Drive-In Restaurants believes franchisees are a key to growth, profits, and passion. He reiterated his resolution and passion for growing the Checkers/Rally’s business.
“I am committed to rebuilding this company, not only returning it to its original level of success but rather taking this concept and each of you to the next level of excellence,” said Dorsch. “Turning this company around is a personal commitment, we have a high quality product and great people so let’s get on with it.”
Vendors and franchisees alike expressed their excitement in regards to the direction Checkers is heading. “The force and energy at the convention was amazing,” said Mary Rogers Park, packaging vendor with Simplot. “Our partnership with Checkers continues to improve, and we feel very positive about Checkers’ positioning. This convention reconfirmed our association.”
Highlights included a special appearance by Holly, the sexy heroine in Checkers’ advertising campaign. Attendees at the conference were able to have their photo taken with Holly sitting in a hot rod similar to the muscle car shown in the ads and on a specially designed “Holly” motorcycle.
Daniel J. Dorsch joined Checkers Drive-In Restaurants, Inc. as chief executive officer, president and corporate director in January of 2000. He is a seasoned franchise operator with over 30 years experience in the quick service restaurant business and is committed to streamlining the restaurants’ operational systems. Under Dorsch’s leadership, Checkers is implementing corporate incentive programs that reward franchise operators, managers and store employees.
In August of 1999, Rally’s Hamburgers, Inc. merged with Checkers forming Checkers Drive-In Restaurants, Inc. The merger made Checkers and Rally’s Hamburgers the largest double drive-thru restaurant chain in the United States. The company develops, produces, owns, operates and franchises over 900 quick-service double drive-thru restaurants under the names “Checkers” and “Rally’s” and is headquartered in Clearwater, Fla.