Checkers Drive-In Restaurants opened six non-traditional locations—including an airport, a state university, and four turnpike rest areas—along with 12 standard locations in the second quarter of 2009, as the double drive-thru chain opened new stores in the first half of the year at its fastest rate since 2000.
In the first six months of 2009, 23 new restaurants opened in eight states through nine new franchisees and 10 current franchisees, along with one corporate-owned store.
According to Michael Arrowsmith, senior vice president of development for Checkers, the dynamics of new franchisee groups along with non-traditional locations are creating new opportunities for the nearly 25-year-old chain.
"These openings were some of the most challenging in our history," Arrowsmith says, noting that some former Burger King restaurants were converted to Checkers overnight. "At 6 p.m. they were one brand and by 6 a.m. the following morning, they were Checkers.”
Other non-traditional locations opened during the second quarter include: a convenience store location; a dining room only restaurant in Brooklyn Heights, New York; and a food court at Mississippi Valley State University.
"The simplicity of the Checkers concept and innovative designs are providing both new and existing franchisees with a wide range of options,” Arrowsmith says. “It's an exciting time to be in the business.”
Although non-traditional locations are becoming more important, the traditional double drive-thru design continues to be a major driver of the business. "Of the 18 locations opened in the second quarter, 10 are the traditional design which really defines the Checkers brand," Arrowsmith says.