Restaurant Development & Design

March-April 2017

restaurant development + design is a user-driven resource for restaurant professionals charged with building new locations and remodeling existing units.

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Peer to Peer 2 2 • r e s t a u r a n t d e v e l o p m e n t + d e s i g n • M A R C H / A P R I L 2 0 1 7 Senior Vice President and Chief Development Officer, Checkers & Rally's Restaurants, Inc. Q&A with Jennifer Durham K nown for its iconic red, white and black double drive-thru buildings, Checkers & Rally's Restaurants, Inc., moved away from a retro image in 2012 to a more contemporary approach to its look with the debut of its Model 3.0 prototype. The update helped propel growth, and by the end of 2016, Checkers & Rally's had added 176 new restaurants and 175 new franchisees. Checkers & Rally's Restaurants, Inc., is continuing its aggressive plan for growth. With nearly 840 restaurants nationwide, the company plans to open 1,200 restaurants by 2020 with a longer-term goal of reaching 3,000 units. The Tampa, Fla.-based chain re- cently rolled out its Model 4.0 prototype. Model 4.0 allows franchisees to choose from three design plans when building new freestanding units: a traditional on-site build, a new modular building or a new container building that utilizes reclaimed shipping containers. The modular and shipping container builds are projected to be faster to construct and less expensive than traditional buildings, saving anywhere from 5 to 12 weeks and up to $100,000, according to the chain. Jennifer Durham, chief development officer for Checkers & Rally's, recently shared some of the logic behind the Model 4.0 rollout. Modular building is a return to form for the chain, which was a proponent of the building style decades ago. Over the years, styles, demands and the company's own internal structure changed, necessitating an update. How did the Model 4.0 prototype come about? JD: We went back to our prototype design from 2011 and value engineered it to come up with a better, more cost- effective building, and then we took it to modular manufacturers. The goal and ob- jective was to bring the cost of develop- ment and construction down in general. When we did that, it was a big win, even in the traditional building sense. To our surprise, we were able to create some savings when we went back to the modu- lar concept. And we found there were now multiple builders, whereas in the mid-1980s, there were fewer options. What does having more options mean for Checkers & Rally's? JD: We're leveraging the opportunities as we look ahead with the new design. Now we will have multiple manufacturers to take advantage of the logistics of where the new units are located. It's a big cost to ship from Florida [where the chain's current modular manufacturer is based]. We're choosing multiple manufacturers to have closer proximity to manufactur- ing facilities. How did that lead to utilizing reclaimed shipping containers? JD: Container builds became an exten- sion of modular. We are one of many brands looking at containers as a sustainable source to build restaurants. It's a way to get the raw materials in a more cost-effective way. We took both concepts — modular and container — to BY THE EDITORS

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