Can Arby's beat Subway at its own game?
The struggling chain tries to erase its 'fast food' image.
Ever since it was founded, in 1964, Arby's has prided itself on offering a different sort of fast food -- namely, roast beef sandwiches, which are really yummy. The company, though, is proud that it was the first fast-food chain to offer a "complete light menu" in 1991.
"The fact that Arby's has been freshly slicing meats in every restaurant for nearly 50 years is something we're extremely proud of, and it's something not all restaurant chains can say they do for their customers," said Russ Klein, the chief marketing officer of Arby's Restaurant Group.
One chain that can make that claim is Subway, which tops the list of Zagat's favorite mega-fast-food chains. Subway has effectively branded itself as a purveyor of healthful food, though some of its menu items are better choices than others. McDonald's (MCD) is also marketing its healthier fare, as is Burger King (BKW), all spurred on by growing public concern about obesity, particularly among children.
Whether Arby's, which has more than 3,500 locations, can differentiate itself from much larger rivals Burger King (12,500) McDonald's (33,500) and Subway (37,776) remains to be seen.
As Bloomberg News noted, Arby's new campaign targets diners who eat out about 50 times a month but dine at the chain only about six times during that period. They represent 20% of Arby's customers and account for two-thirds of its total transactions. Winning them over may not be easy.
So far, at least, fast-food fans don't appear to be overly impressed with Arby's. For instance, Brand Eating found the Arby's Turkey Classic to be "too plain to be a good vehicle for turkey."
All the marketing campaigns won't mean squat if people don't like the food.
Some people dine out 50 times a month?!?
No wonder America is so fat.
Arby's is just too expensive. For the same $ I can go to a local place and get better food and more choices.
Arby's is too expensive. For the same money I can go to a buffet restaurant and get soup, salad, sea food(clams, shrimp, crabs, oyster, fish), spar ribs, sushies, pizza, fries.....
even though I love Arby's a meal "deal" of their Market Fresh Sandwiches run you close to $10 for a sandwich, fries and a soda. that's a little much for this economy for a daily meal... at least for many of us.
it isn't hat they don't like the food it's that the food is not price friendly. McDonalds and Burger King are
cheaper when feeding a whole family.
I love Arby's, and I have been a faithful customer for many years. Lean roast beef instead of high fat burgers makes a great choice...along with many other good choices. As far as fast food goes, only Subway and Arby's have long featured healthier food compared to burgers.
Copyright © 2014 Microsoft. All rights reserved.
VIDEO ON MSN MONEY
Contributors include professional investors and journalists affiliated with MSN Money.
Follow us on Twitter @topstocksmsn.