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Roy Rogers Rides Again!

  • Broadcast in Business
Franchise Today

Franchise Today


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In 1968, a group of Big Boy restaurant franchisees opened up RoBee's House of Beef in Ft. Wayne, Indiana. Marriott acquired the restaurant with plans to expand it nationwide, however Arby's sued the chain for trademark infringement. Needing to change the name, Bob Wain, the founder of Big Boy's and a member of Marriott's Board, reached out to Roy Rogers, who at the time, happened to want to get into the chain restaurant business. And, so a deal was made.  In exchange for the use of his name and likeness, Roy Rogers would receive a licensing fee as well as payment for personal appearances at the restaurants.

The fast-food chain was booming and Roy Rogers locations were popping up everywhere, with more than 600 operating restaurants.  But, in 1990, all of that changed, when Marriott’s strategy shifted and they decided to focus solely on hotels.  As a result, they sold Roy Rogers to Imasco, which was then the parent company of Hardee's. Over time, Imasco began converting Roy Roger's Restaurants into Hardee's locations and what they didn't convert, they sold to competing brands, like Wendy's, McDonald's, and Boston Market. In the end, only about 50 Roy Rogers locations were saved.

Well, fast forward the tape and today the family of the man that actually helped pioneer the Roy Rogers Restaurant brand for Marriott in the first place, who themselves became early stage franchisees, now own the Roy Rogers Restaurant brand and are doubling down on the franchise expansion of  the brand, based on the strength of it's name, reputation and cache.  Not even a pandemic, will prevent Roy Rogers from riding again. 

Here to tell us all about it, the guy that the Plamondon family has placed back in the saddle, to redevelop and build out the franchise network, Gregg Koffler, VP of Franchise Development. 

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