What Companies Does Arby’s Own? A Guide to Its Subsidiary Brands

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Arby’s, with its signature roast beef sandwiches and curly fries, is a household name in the fast-food industry. However, the players behind Arby’s span beyond the individual restaurant to a complex network of ownership and corporate relationships. At the center of this is Inspire Brands, a powerful umbrella company that directs the growth and operations of several well-known fast-food entities, including Arby’s. Ownership structures in the food service industry are often as layered and complex as the menu options available at these eateries, and understanding who owns what can provide insight into the strategies and market dynamics that shape our dining experiences.

Inspire Brands holds a prominent position in the food industry as a multi-brand company. This conglomerate leverages economies of scale and insights across different markets to drive innovation and competitiveness. With a diverse portfolio under their management and a considerable number of locations across the globe, they exhibit significant influence on the fast-food landscape. The concepts of franchising also play a critical role, allowing for the expansion and accessibility of Arby’s among other brands, creating opportunities for entrepreneurs and investors to become a part of the brand’s operational framework.

Key Takeaways

  • Inspire Brands is the key entity owning Arby’s and several other fast-food chains.
  • Franchising is a fundamental part of Arby’s growth and market presence.
  • Roark Capital plays a vital role in the ownership structure of Inspire Brands and, consequently, Arby’s.

Inspire Brands Overview

Inspire Brands has rapidly grown into a significant player in the global restaurant space, distinguishing itself through an impressive portfolio of eateries and strategic leadership.

Formation and Leadership

Inspire Brands was founded in February 2018, anchored in Atlanta, and led by CEO Paul Brown. The formation showcased a clear vision of a multi-brand restaurant company that focuses on complementary brands. Under the leadership of Brown, the company’s approach has been to invigorate great brands and supercharge their growth. These efforts derive from the backing of the private equity firm, Roark Capital.

Corporate Structure

Inspire Brands showcases a diversified corporate structure, functioning as a holding company that owns several notable restaurant chains. It boasts a remarkable lineup of quick-service and casual dining brands, including but not limited to Arby’s, Buffalo Wild Wings, Sonic Drive-In, Jimmy John’s, and Rusty Taco. This structure allows each brand to benefit from shared resources, while the firm maintains their unique market identities.

Arby’s History and Acquisition

Arby’s has a storied past that includes strategic growth through acquisitions, most notably becoming the flagship of a larger conglomerate of restaurants. Here’s a brief look at how Arby’s expanded its footprint in the fast-food industry.

Arby’s Restaurant Group

Arby’s, recognized for its classic roast beef sandwiches, was established in 1964 and has since grown into a quick-service restaurant giant. The company was a subsidiary under Triarc Companies, Inc., but its focus shifted dramatically with the acquisition by the Roark Capital Group in July 2011, acquiring an 81.5% majority stake.

In a significant move, Arby’s Restaurant Group spread its wings on February 5, 2018, when it merged with Buffalo Wild Wings and launched a new multi-brand company called Inspire Brands, positioning itself as a powerhouse in the fast-food realm. Through the creation of Inspire Brands, Arby’s not only retained its identity but also underwent a transformation into a key player within a diverse lineup of restaurant chains, with its CEO, Paul Brown, assuming the leadership of the new company.

Brand Portfolio


Arby’s, as a part of a larger holding company, controls an impressive range of popular dining brands. These brands are strategically diversified across various segments of the restaurant industry, contributing to Arby’s significant market presence.

Major Brands Owned

  • Buffalo Wild Wings: A sports bar franchise known for its chicken wings and a variety of sauces and seasonings.

  • Sonic Drive-In: An iconic drive-in fast-food restaurant, famous for its carhop service and extensive beverage menu.

  • Rusty Taco: A smaller yet expanding chain offering a menu based on simple, fresh Mexican street-style tacos.

  • Dunkin’ Brands: The parent company of Dunkin’ (formerly known as Dunkin’ Donuts) and Baskin-Robbins. Dunkin’ is widely recognized for its coffee and baked goods, while Baskin-Robbins is a leading ice cream chain.

  • Baskin-Robbins: World-renowned for its 31 flavors of ice cream, the brand continues to innovate with new products and flavors.

  • Jimmy John’s: This chain is a go-to option for gourmet sandwiches delivered swiftly, emphasizing fresh ingredients and quick service.

Strategic Growth and Expansion

  • Growth: The expansion strategy involves tactical acquisitions and geographical growth of its brands to bolster its market footprint.

  • Scale: By fostering a large-scale multi-brand restaurant portfolio, the company seeks economies of scale in operations, investments, and marketing efforts.

Arby’s through these brands successfully harnesses synergy to enhance customer experiences while driving operational efficiencies.

Franchise Ecosystem

Arby’s operates a comprehensive franchise ecosystem that thrives on partnership and mutual success. Through solid support and development programs, franchisees are equipped to own and operate franchised stores effectively.

Franchisee Support and Development

Arby’s franchise network is bolstered by an extensive support system. The brand ensures its franchisees have access to resources and guidance for achieving operational excellence. From the onset of the partnership, a franchisee benefits from established training programs, marketing support, and ongoing business development strategies. This is made possible through parent company, Inspire Brands, which also owns a variety of other well-known chains such as Buffalo Wild Wings and Sonic Drive-In, highlighting the magnitude of their franchising expertise.

They are committed to fostering a strong, supportive network that underpins the franchisee’s success. With over 3,500 restaurants under their wing, the collective experience within the network is vast, enabling franchisees to leverage the systems and knowledge of their franchisor.

By standardizing operations and providing comprehensive training, they ensure that each franchised store maintains the quality and service standards that customers expect. This attention to detail and holistic approach to franchisee development is a key factor in the ongoing growth and success of Arby’s franchises.

Innovation in Food Service

Arby’s demonstrates its commitment to innovation through its evolving menu and restaurant experience. They constantly experiment with new flavors and service models to stay at the forefront of the food service industry.

Menu Development

Arby’s has made significant strides in menu development by incorporating unique items like their famous curly fries. They don’t just stop at sides; their sandwiches showcase creativity with a variety of meats, including the classic roast beef, savory brisket, and even limited-time offerings that keep customers intrigued.

  • Menu Highlights:
    • Signature Curly Fries
    • Array of sandwiches from classic Roast Beef to specialty brisket

Restaurant Experience

In the realm of the restaurant experience, Arby’s adopts innovative approaches such as drive-thru enhancements for speedier service and the implementation of ghost kitchens. These kitchens focus solely on delivery and pickup orders, allowing Arby’s to serve more customers efficiently without a traditional dine-in space.

  • Key Experience Innovations:
    • Efficient Drive-Thru operations enhancing convenience
    • Adoption of Ghost Kitchen model for optimized delivery

International Reach

Arby’s, under the umbrella of its parent company, Inspire Brands, extends its international presence through various well-known franchises. Their global locations reflect a strategic approach to international markets.

Global Locations

  • Sonic: Popularly known for its drive-in concept, Sonic is part of Arby’s expanding portfolio and contributes to the international presence, notably in Mexico.
  • Canada: Arby’s operates multiple locations across Canada, furthering its reach in the North American market.
  • Mexico: Mexico hosts not only Arby’s locations but also Sonic, allowing for a diversified fast-food offering under Inspire Brands.
  • Saudi Arabia: As part of its Middle Eastern expansion, Arby’s has established its presence in Saudi Arabia.
  • Turkey: Turkish consumers can enjoy Arby’s unique menu items, as the brand has expanded into this transcontinental country.
  • United Arab Emirates: The United Arab Emirates is included in Arby’s growing list of international locations, showcasing the brand’s versatility in catering to different cuisines.
  • International Platform: Arby’s, via Inspire Brands, is building a robust international platform, aiming to adapt and thrive in various global markets.

Financial Aspects

In the financial landscape of Arby’s, a key player is Inspire Brands, which operates under the ownership of Roark Capital, a private equity firm. The financial dynamics of Arby’s are influenced by revenue streams and the management of debt, which are pivotal for sustaining growth and operations.

Revenue Streams

Arby’s has developed multiple revenue streams, strengthening its market presence. Their revenue chiefly comes from the operation of company-owned restaurants, franchise fees, and royalties collected from franchised locations. The franchising of Arby’s contributes significantly to its overall financial portfolio, with careful investment strategies attracting new franchisees and supporting the expansion of their network.

In recent times, sales growth has been an indicator of Arby’s market strength. Strategic marketing campaigns and menu innovations have boosted their sales, thereby increasing revenue. Their affiliation with Inspire Brands allows them to synergize with other brands under the umbrella, optimizing their market reach.

Managing Debt

As part of their financial structure, Arby’s also focuses on managing debt. Being a subsidiary of Inspire Brands, and ultimately Roark Capital, Arby’s benefits from the expertise in financial strategies provided by the parent company. This includes structuring debt in a manner that enables expansion while keeping the liabilities within manageable limits.

Arby’s, as a private entity under Inspire Brands, does not publicly disclose all specifics regarding its debt levels. However, private equity ownership often involves leveraging buyouts, suggesting that debt management is an inherent part of their financial operations. The company strives to balance leveraging with profitability to ensure long-term financial health.

Corporate Responsibility


Arby’s has demonstrated a commitment to giving back to the community through various initiatives led by the Arby’s Foundation. They address corporate responsibility with a clear focus on engagement and respect for both individuals and organizations they work with.

Community Engagement

Arby’s actively participates in community support and philanthropic efforts primarily through the Arby’s Foundation, which was established in 1986. Its mission is to ensure that all children in America have access to nourishing meals, which is fundamental to their development and success.

  • Community Initiative: The foundation partners with organizations across the country to fulfill its goals, priding itself on youth development and innovative solutions to end childhood hunger.

  • Respect and Support: The foundation and the corporation behind Arby’s hold respect as a core value, emphasizing the importance of treating everyone in the community with dignity and empathy.

In their dedicated efforts, they uphold a tradition of building relationships with various organizations to magnify their impact. They further ensure that their corporate responsibility objectives align with their business practices, striving to make a positive difference through actionable strategies.

Consumer Engagement

Engaging with consumers is a critical aspect of Arby’s business strategy. Their ability to maintain a connective thread with their clientele pivots significantly on the implementation of loyalty programs and leveraging their licensing infrastructure to promote consumer packaged goods.

Loyalty Programs

Arby’s utilizes loyalty programs to provide value to their regular customers, incentivizing repeat visits and sustained patronage. Loyalty members receive special offers, discounts, and exclusive promotions, fostering a sense of appreciation and connection with the brand. These programs are also designed to gather consumer data, which is then analyzed to tailor marketing strategies and improve the consumer’s experience.

The integration of loyalty programs extends into the realm of consumer packaged goods (CPG). By leveraging their CPG licensing infrastructure, Arby’s enhances brand visibility and customer engagement outside the restaurant space, offering branded products that customers can enjoy at home. This dual-channel engagement strategy solidifies Arby’s position not only as a fast-food establishment but also as a versatile presence in the consumer’s daily life.

Market Position and Competitiveness

Arby’s positions itself distinctly in the fast-food industry, leveraging its reputation for quality roast beef sandwiches and signature Jamocha shakes. The brand’s emphasis on a unique menu sets it apart in a competitive landscape marked by a variety of well-established fast-food and fast-casual brands.

Comparison to Competitors

When analyzing Arby’s market position, a direct comparison to competitors sheds light on its competitive edge. Arby’s operates primarily in the fast-food sector, whereas companies like Darden Restaurants — the parent company of Olive Garden and Longhorn Steakhouse — cater to the full-service restaurant category. This distinction in service style delineates Arby’s from full-service entities and aligns it more closely with brands like KFC and Taco Bell, both under the Yum! Brands umbrella.

Fast-Food Arena:

  • Arby’s offers a niche selection with items like their classic roast beef sandwiches and curly fries, while brands like KFC focus on fried chicken offerings.
  • Taco Bell serves Mexican-inspired dishes, contrasted with Arby’s American-centric menu.

Fast-Casual Sector:

  • Arby’s competes with fast-casual chains like Panera and Moe’s Southwest Grill by offering quick-service without compromising on quality.
  • While not owning fast-casual entities directly, Arby’s intersects with this market through its product quality and menu innovation.

Parent Company Influence:

  • Unlike the diverse portfolio of Inspire Brands, which owns Arby’s, the Wendy’s Company is a singular brand focus, competing with Arby’s directly in the fast-food space.

The competitive landscape includes both traditional fast-food restaurants, such as those operated by Wendy’s, and fast-casual restaurants like Panera which offer a somewhat different dining experience by combining elements of fast food and sit-down dining. Arby’s competes by highlighting its unique offerings like Jamocha shakes, which are not commonly found in either the fast-food or fast-casual segments.

Arby’s holds its own by emphasizing its robust flavors and specialty items like the Jamocha shake, creating a strong presence amidst fast-food and fast-casual heavyweights. The brand retains its competitiveness by maintaining a focused menu and providing a distinct taste experience that keeps customers returning.

Frequently Asked Questions

The following section provides answers to common queries regarding the ownership and brand portfolio of Arby’s. It aims to shed light on its parent company and the breadth of its influence in the fast-food industry.

What restaurants are currently part of the Inspire Brands portfolio?

Inspire Brands’ portfolio includes a variety of well-known food industry companies. Specifically, they are the proud owners of Arby’s, Buffalo Wild Wings, Sonic Drive-In, Jimmy John’s, and Rusty Taco.

Does Arby’s ownership extend to any major fast-food chain like Taco Bell or Subway?

No, Arby’s does not own fast-food chains like Taco Bell or Subway. These chains are independent and not part of the Inspire Brands’ portfolio.

What was the latest restaurant acquisition made by Arby’s parent company?

The information on the very latest acquisition by Arby’s parent company, Inspire Brands, is not included in the search results provided. However, they have a history of expanding by acquiring various food industry companies.

How has Arby’s expanded its presence in the restaurant industry through mergers?

Arby’s has expanded through strategic acquisitions under its parent company. This approach has enabled the addition of multiple brands under the Inspire Brands umbrella, thereby broadening their presence in the fast-food industry.

Who is the parent company of Arby’s, and what other brands do they manage?

Inspire Brands is the parent company of Arby’s. In addition to Arby’s, they manage Buffalo Wild Wings, Sonic Drive-In, Jimmy John’s, and Rusty Taco.

Can you find Cheesecake Factory under the umbrella of companies owned by Arby’s?

No, Cheesecake Factory is not part of the group of companies owned by Arby’s or its parent company, Inspire Brands. It operates as its own entity.