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The other time- and money-intensive aspect of the remodel program will be the retraining of front-line employees and managers who accompany each reimaged unit, Brown and Condos said. Each company-owned location that has been remodeled closed for half a day and put its staff through an off-site “brand camp” to share Arby’s brand vision for the next five to six years and retrain customer service.

To date, 19,000 team members from company-owned Arby’s units have attended the brand camp sessions, the chain’s leaders said.

“We’re really approaching this differently and holistically,” Brown said. “It’s not just a new physical building, but it’s also a chance to reboot across the system, even if some of the units aren’t remodeling soon. Brand camp is a big investment, but it’s paying big returns already.”



He added that Arby’s grew its systemwide same-store sales by 2.8 percent in fiscal 2013, which outperformed the restaurant industry by more than 2 percent. Year-to-date in 2014, Arby’s outperformance above the industry is even higher, Brown said.

He added that more is on the way from Arby’s, including a new marketing campaign this summer and several more premium limited-time offers in the menu pipeline. The brand recently ended a long-term refranchising program and does not plan to sell more company-owned units to franchisees, he said.

“Because of the time associated with doing remodels, it can take years to make it through a system,” Brown said. “So this will be happening in parallel with a lot of initiatives.”

Arby’s likely will release 10-year targets for unit growth some time this fall, after unveiling more prototype designs to franchisees.

This story has been revised to reflect the following update:

Update: June 11, 2014 
This article has been updated to reflect that Arby’s will execute its franchisee finance program in partnership with a financial lending institution.

Contact Mark Brandau at mark.brandau@penton.com.
Follow him on Twitter: @Mark_from_NRN