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Checkers & Rally’s

Checkers and Rally’s are essentially the same quick-service restaurant concept operated under different names in different regions. Both are known for their double drive-thrus, and a menu of burgers, wings, hot dogs, fries and soft-serve ice cream. The fast-food brand is primarily operated as Checkers in the Southeast and as Rally’s in the Midwest.

Checkers was founded in 1986 by Jim Mattei. The chain went public in 1991. Rally’s was launched in 1985 by Jim Patterson. In 1996, Rally’s was bought by CKE Restaurants, parent to the Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s chains. CKE sold Rally’s to Checkers in 1999.

Checkers later was taken private by an affiliate of Wellspring Capital Management and was later sold to Sentinel Capital Partners. Oak Hill Capital Partners bought Checkers Drive-In Restaurants from Sentinel Capital Partners in a deal valued at $525 million in 2017. In 2021, Checkers secured a $20 million injection from owner Oak Hill Capital Partners IV to fund a five-year growth plan.

Key Data: Checkers & Rally’s

Headquarters: Tampa, Fla.

Segment: Quick Service

Restaurant segment: LSR burger

Number of U.S. locations: 836

2020 Sales: $866.2 million

Annual Growth:

Source: Datassential Firefly 500

CEO: Frances Allen

Parent: Checkers Drive-In Restaurants Inc.