You might say that this company's customers are driven to eat hamburgers. Checkers Drive-In Restaurants is the #1 operator of double drive-through fast-food restaurants, with more than 800 mostly franchised locations in about 20 states. Operating under the names Checkers and Rally's Hamburgers, the restaurants offer a limited menu of burgers, fries, and hotdogs, along with beverages and shakes. The quick-service eateries are typically decorated with checkered flags and racing theme exteriors and offer no inside seating or dining areas. Checkers is controlled by private equity firm Wellspring Capital.
With much of the dining industry in a slump due to the recession, the company has been focused on new menu items to help drive additional business. Checkers added new sandwiches and chicken wings to its menu in recent years. While mostly keeping an eye on fast food leaders such as McDonald's and YUM! Brands, the new menu items are also part of an effort to steal away some customers from casual dining alternatives.
Wellspring Capital took the business private for $190 million in 2006. The New York City-based investment firm also controls dining operator Dave & Buster's and foodservice supplier Performance Food Group. Following the buyout, CEO Keith Sirois retired from the company in 2007 and was replaced by former Burger King executive Enrique Silva. – less