Sep 22, 2020 | Report Announcements

Arby’s strong and unique positioning is based upon a credible, affordable NY deli format (with a drive-thru) that bakes beef roasts and freshly slices all other roasts in-house to create fast-crafted, made-to-order hot deli sandwiches. “We Have the Meats” lineup includes a full selection of roast beef, beef brisket, corned beef, turkey, chicken & gyro and Arby’s sandwiches are distinguished by generous stacks of quality meat toppings (big, meaty sandwiches) with leading-edge protein variety which extends well beyond Arby’s core roast beef heritage. Market Fresh sandwiches & salads further expands the concept’s appeal to more upscale, health conscious consumers (eliminating the veto vote). The bottom line is that Arby’s brand positioning provides a compelling alternative to competitors focused on burgers, chicken-only, cold-cut subs and veggie-heavy fast casual offerings. Marketing is well-done and on-message and the chain’s innovative LTOs drive trial and add variety. Notably, YTD 9/20 system comps are up low double digits, reflecting the strength of a popular QSR drive-thru during the current operating environment. Having said all this, the system would likely benefit from a more effective value proposition that does not impede its overall premium positioning as its sales performance is vulnerable to regular cycles of QSR discounting. Also, more progress on mobile ordering could help sales growth, especially given the brand’s increased orientation towards a younger demo. In conclusion, while Arby’s is very well positioned as a QSR player that can serve as a credible alternative to a NY deli, the brand may benefit from more emphasis on sustainable value (that does not impede its premium positioning) and digital ordering progress which is a must in our current operating environment.

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