Big bang for your buck: Rally’s Franchise Director excited to come to region

Published 2:17 pm Friday, December 13, 2019

Rally’s Drive-In is set to open by the end of the year, and the Rally’s Franchise Director Bruce Kim could not be more excited to migrate into the region.

“We are excited,” Kim said. “This is our second location for our franchisee, Terry Lee. His first location is in Kodak, Tenn., which is not too far from Middlesboro and you all are right there on the border of Kentucky and Tennessee, which is exciting.”

Kim said that the company has almost 30 locations in Kentucky, but this will be the only one this far south.

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“We don’t have anything as far south as Lexington, so this will be our furthest location that will open in southern Kentucky,” he explained. “It will be co-branded with the gas station, and it will be great because people have been asking for one and we are finally bringing one.”

According to Kim, Lee contacted the company approximately three years ago to consider putting a Checkers in their Kodak store.

“I went out there and met with them,” he said. “We surveyed it and I said, ‘Wow, this looks like it would be really busy.’ Usually our stores are standalone and are drive through, but in this case there was a spot where a Subway used to be.”

Kim explained they surveyed the location and did a feasibility study with the store and they opened up.

“I’s been doing great,” he exclaimed. “Actually fantastic. So, naturally they want to open up another, so this is their second location with us and hopefully they will do some more with us in the future.”

The company has been in business for 33 years and have a total of 872 locations nationwide.

“We are a combination of Rally’s and Checkers,” Kim explained. “The reason we have two brands is because at one point we were two separate brands. In 1999, we merged and now we are the exact same brand with the same menu.”

He explained that there is name recognition that comes with both Rally’s and Checkers.

“Kentucky happens to be a Rally’s market and Tennessee is a Checkers market,” he said.

The menus for both brands are exactly the same.

“Our thing is our world famous fries,” he said. “They’re coated, they’re seasoned and they’re delicious. They are so famous that we sell them at Walmart and Sam’s Club.”

The menu also includes burgers, chicken sandwiches, chicken littles, fish sandwiches and desserts.

“Our positioning in the market is that we are not looking to compete with McDonald’s, Burger King, or Wendy’s per say because we don’t do breakfast,” Kim explained. “We do lunch, dinner and late night. Our pricing strategy is a little bit lower than other burger chains.”

He explained that they are what you would consider value positioning.

“We offer you cheaper value. So for $5, you get more with us in a bag than you would our competitors,” he said. “We are a value brand and we offer a big bang for your buck.”

Kim said that in a world of burgers, there are premium burgers such as Wendy’s and there are sandwiches like Arby’s and those are priced a little bit higher. There are the middle chain burgers like McDonald’s and Burger King. There is the value category which is your Rally’s or Krystal.

“So people who don’t have a whole lot of money or even they have money but they want to eat more often, they can do that because the prices are so good,” he explained.

The excitement is insurmountable because the closest location to one of their brands is Kodak, which is almost 60 miles south.

“We are very excited to be there, and with no locations near you guys you can now enjoy our fine food,” he exclaimed. “Please try the fries.”

Kim said he would love to do more in and around the region.

“We are super excited and hopefully you will enjoy the food and help us be successful,” said Kim.

The new restaurant is set to open between Dec. 26 and Jan. 1.