Checkers & Rally are looking for franchise owners in Wilkes-Barre and Scranton

Saturday, April 04, 2015

National chain Checkers & Rally wants to expand into the Wilkes-Barre and Scranton markets, said Jennifer Durham, vice president of franchise development.

Thursday, Durham said the Tampa-based restaurant reached an agreement with distributor, Willow Run Foods Inc. in Binghamton, New York.

The move opened up Northeastern Pennsylvania for the 1950s style eatery. Willow Run Foods Inc. is part of a network of logistic companies servicing the restaurant's 805 locations across the county, she said.

Products and seasonings are proprietary to the chain making distribution priority for success for its locations, Durham said.

Now franchise owners are being sought in Lackawanna and Luzerne counties.

"The Scranton and Wilkes-Barre areas have eight to ten franchising possibilities," she said.

The Wilkes-Barre and Scranton markets are prime territory for the drive-in restaurant. The closest locations are in the Lehigh Valley and Philadelphia regions, Durham said.

Franchise Requirements Franchise candidate must meet financial and training requirements, including: • $750,000 minimum of net worth, • $250,000 in liquid assets, • $30,000 for each location, • $10,000 deposit per location at the time of signing the development agreement.

• Participate in a five-week training course.

• Sign a 20-year franchise agreement.

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Durham estimated in the first year, a franchise could earn "$1.4 million in top-line sales and $250,000 in bottom-line profit." Durham said Checkers & Rally have their own real estate team who will determine prime property locations near the franchise owner's hometown.

"We are unique because our restaurants can fit on less than 15,000 square feet," Durham said.

The retro themed drive-in employs between 20 to 30 people and features a covered outdoor dinning area.

"More than 80 percent of business comes from the drive-in," Durham said.

Brand awareness Checkers & Rally's is known for their retro themed drive-in, seasoned fries, 100 percent all-beef burgers, chicken sandwiches and wings, Philly cheesesteaks and meatball subs "" all for an affordable price, she said.

Market research on the two-county region revealed a strong brand awareness of Checkers & Rally, and "a hard working community that loves burgers," Durham said.

Over 20 years ago Checkers had a location on Market Street in Kingston. Durham was not with the company at this time and was unaware of its fate.

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Checkers Drive-In Restaurants Inc.
4300 W. Cypress St., #600
Tampa, FL

Phone: (813)283-7000
Fax: (813)283-7208

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