Checkers & Rally’s plans two dozen restaurants around Pittsburgh |
Food & Drink

Checkers & Rally’s plans two dozen restaurants around Pittsburgh

Mary Pickels
Over the next several years, 24 Checkers & Rally's fast food restaurants are expected to pop up in the Pittsburgh region. Menu items include burgers, hot dogs, wings, fries, smoothies and soft drinks.

Regional fans of Checkers & Rally’s Restaurants Inc. who have enjoyed the chain’s food while traveling east to Philadelphia or west to Ohio will soon find the “value-based” option a bit closer to home.

The Tampa-based chain intends to open two dozen Checkers restaurants in the Pittsburgh area over the next three to seven years, says Bruce Kim, the company’s director of franchise development.

The restaurants in this area will open under the Checkers name and serve the same menu as Rally’s stores do, Kim says.

By late this year or early in 2019, the first new Checkers is expected to open in Penn Hills, he adds.

“Our analysis shows we have the capacity for at least two dozen (stores) in the Pittsburgh area,” Kim says.

“They will not open all at one time. We want careful, sustained growth with the right people and franchisees,” he adds.

The company currently has 870 restaurants nationwide. It’s adding another 76 this year and plans another 100 in 2019.

“We have lots of room to grow. In Pittsburgh, where we have no presence, we are not fighting for territory. We are getting lots of requests from Pittsburghers who know our food,” Kim says.

In addition, the company’s “footprint” is small, about 1,000 square feet. With parking and a drive-through, only about one-third of an acre is needed, he says.

New stores typically have only patio seating, with primary patronage drive-through and walk-up.

“Where you will see some (indoor) seating at our stores is if it’s a conversion store,” Kim says.

“With a brand new building, it’s like a giant Lego (construction),” he says.

The pre-built, modular units are delivered to new sites ready to open.

The company’s menu includes hamburgers, hot dogs, chicken wings, smoothies, soft drinks and desserts.

“Our number one product is our coated fries,” Kim says. That product is sold in grocery stores as well.

Mary Pickels is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach her at 724-836-5401 or [email protected] or via Twitter @MaryPickels.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.