As a fast-food restaurant, Arby’s prides itself on serving the tastiest roast beef sandwiches in America. But unbeknownst to most people, it also hides a number of interesting facts that include its food and history. Simply scroll down to learn about a few more Top 10 Untold Truths of Arby’s – Part 2.
10. Arby’s Horsey Sauce
You know that something is good and popular when it gets its own nickname. Arby’s Horsey sauce is one such product. Not only has it got its own special name but there are many videos and recipes out there for you to create your own Horsey Sauce. Horseradish and Mayonaisse have never been so popular or so well-loved, especially when this specialty sauce is smothered over an Arbynator sandwich which is packed with meat and curly fries. Thanks to Arby’s take on this classic condiment, not only can you put this sauce on your favorite Arby’s food, as well as make it yourself if you follow the instructions carefully. But you can actually take a bottle home with you if you don’t want to go through the hassle of making it. Arby’s Horsey Sauce, as well as their infamous Arby’s Sauce, are being sold in bottles so you can enjoy this great tasting sauce whenever you like and in the comfort of your own home. Not many fast food joints, or many restaurants for that matter, can boast about having, not one, but two great-tasting and unique sauces. Arby’s does. Although we fell in love with the original Arby’s Sauce, it’s their Horsey sauce that steals our hearts and that hot and creamy sauce will make any food taste great, as well as give your tastebuds a little Horsey kick!
9. Arby’s has its own version of Oktoberfest – ‘Meatoberfest’!
Arby’s tagline reads ‘We have the meats’. And they are certainly driving home the point with their latest gimmick – the Meatoberfest! In early October 2019, Arby’s announced that they were celebrating Oktoberfest with their own take on the popular German festival by releasing special sandwiches and meat-centric merchandise. Well, we understand that after Lady Gaga donned the meat dress, the bar for meat-centric merchandise was set pretty high. But hear us out as we tell you that Arby’s has done justice to the theme. In keeping with the Oktoberfest theme, Arby’s came up with ‘Meaterhosen’, their take on the famous German clothing item of lederhosen, the ‘Beefvarian Hat’, Arby’s take on the ‘Bavarian Hat’, and a third item, ‘Das Hat’. The merchandise was sold online at Arby’s and was developed as an ode to the rich cultural heritage of Germany. Here’s some more explanation about the merchandise: the ‘Meaterhosen’ was lederhosen that was replete with prints of various deli meats. The ‘Beefvarian Hat’ was just like a regular Bavarian hat but with a twist of bacon accents on it. The ‘Das Hat’ was a beer mug or ‘stein’ made from hand-blown glass; you could display it as a souvenir or fill it up with curly fries or beer. It was reported that the stein was specially crafted for Arby’s customers by a ‘certified Meatoberfest artisan’. And lastly, no Arby’s tribute or celebration is complete without special menu items. For this event, the company introduced three special Meatoberfest Sandwiches – Beer Cheese ‘n Double Beef, Beer Cheese Triple Stack and a Beer Braised Beef sandwich.
8. Well Behaved Children Only!
If there is one thing that fast food restaurants are known for, apart from tasty food, then it’s being family and child-friendly. After all, most of their restaurants and menus are designed specifically for children. However, as family orientated as these restaurants are, some people like to eat a burger without having screaming toddlers running around. That is the approach one Arby’s restaurant took when it actually had a sign in the window that stated that naughty children will be asked to leave. When a mother and her children went into an Arby’s for a tasty snack in Minnesota, they were met with a sign on the window stating that only well-behaved children who kept their food on their plate and their bottoms on their seats can stay. If they can’t do this they will be asked to leave. Needless to say, the mother was a little apprehensive, epically as one of her children was a toddler. Reactions to this story online have produced quite a divide; some think Arby’s choice to try and ban children who misbehave is ridiculous as most are toddlers. However, some actually agree with the sign and welcome a quiet restaurant to enjoy their food in.
7. Arby’s provided a special food truck for the ‘Storm Area 51’ event
‘Storm Area 51’ was a bizarre event that took place on September 20, 2019, near the infamous Area 51 in Nevada, and Arby’s was a keen supporter and participant in the event. For a little back story on the event, here’s what happened; somebody posted on Facebook about organizing an event called ‘Storm Area 51’ with the logic that if enough people came together and ran towards the gates of the top-secret U.S. government facility that is said to hide aliens, no amount of military personnel would be able to stop them. What started off as a joke soon turned into an online phenomenon and millions signed up to show up for the event. If you’re wondering where does Arby come in, here’s how; Arby’s jumped in on all the frenzy surrounding the event and sent out a tweet that they were sending a food truck for the ‘Storm Area 51’ event in Nevada. The event soon turned into an alien-themed weekend festival with art, music, alien history, merchandise and memorabilia, talks by experts, etc. And Arby’s was right there with it’s Roadside Meathouse’ food truck providing nourishment to hungry humans and liberated aliens! They also introduced special menu items in the food truck to commemorate the event with cheesy names like The E.T. Slider, The Redacted on Rye Sandwich, Arby’s Frying Objects and a Galaxy Shake. It wasn’t clear if these items would ever make it to the regular Arby’s menu though.
6. Arby’s can be found in 48 states and 6 countries
One of America’s well-loved fast-food restaurants, Arby’s is present in almost every state in the U.S. Starting out in Ohio, Arby’s has slowly expanded to 48 states in the U.S., Rhode Island and Vermont being the only two exceptions. So, if you’re heading to these two states, make sure you have your fill of Arby’s food elsewhere before entering these two states! Another interesting fact is that the most number of Arby’s locations can be found in Ohio, around 268. And America’s busiest Arby’s is located in Ephrata, Pennsylvania. Much like its fast-food counterparts, Arby’s also has many international outlets. Arby’s can be found in six other countries namely; Canada, United Arab Emirates, Turkey, Qatar, Kuwait, and Egypt. Arby’s has more than 100 locations in various provinces of Canada. Taking their operations beyond North America, Arby’s has taken off very well in the Middle East. There are two Arby’s outlets in Qatar and reportedly multiple outlets under the joint Wendy’s/Arby’s banner in the United Arab Emirates. In 2017, they made a comeback in Kuwait after almost two decades. In 2018, Arby’s was back in Egypt with the opening of three outlets through a franchise partner.
5. They are the record holders for the world’s largest and smallest advertisement
Arby’s is no stranger to world records. Adding another feather to their cap is a set of twin records, covering opposite ends of the advertising spectrum, awards for the smallest and the largest advertisements in the world. Arby’s has set the Guinness World Record for both these categories by means of its ingenious advertisements in 2018. After ending their long-standing association with Pepsi, Arby’s wanted to announce their partnership with Coca-Cola in a spectacular manner. They set about doing so by breaking two Guinness World Records. In conjunction with Georgia Tech, Arby’s created the world’s smallest advertisement, on a sesame seed of a sandwich bun, that was etched with the words ‘A big announcement is coming. This isn’t it.’ The minuscule advertisement measured 38.3 microns by 19.2 microns and was later displayed at a Manhattan outlet of Arby’s. A week later, Arby’s revealed another advertisement, a giant poster spanning five acres in the town of Monowi, Nebraska, popularly known as the ‘smallest town in America’ since it is home to only one resident. The world’s largest advertisement read ‘Arby’s Now Has Coke’ and was even pictured with Monowi’s lone resident standing on the poster.
4. A Pizza Hut operator owns 27 Arby’s locations
Much like other fast-food chains, Arby’s operates on a franchise model too. Some are individual franchisees and others are professional franchise operating corporations. Pizza Hut also operates on similar lines. Besides operating on a franchising model, what do Pizza Hut and Arby’s have in common? A particular common franchise operator who recently made headlines in the restaurant business. In October 2019, a Pizza Hut franchise operator, Quality Restaurant Group (QRG), announced that they had acquired 27 Arby’s locations too. QRG is a recently formed restaurant group with 200 Pizza Hut locations on its roster, operating under its Quality Huts, LLC subsidiary. After the formation of QRG, they also announced the formation of Quality Meats, LLC, under which the newly acquired 27 Arby’s locations would operate. A large number of Arby’s locations that were acquired by the company in one go was quite a surprising bit of news, especially since the locations were scattered across five states. the newly acquired Arby’s locations were in Wyoming, Montana, South Dakota, Colorado, and Nebraska while the Pizza Hut locations were in South Bend, Indianapolis, Chicago, Pittsburgh, and Baltimore.
3. Arby’s owners also own Sonic, Jimmy John’s and Rusty Taco
Inspire Brands, the owners of Arby’s, seem to have a penchant for acquiring new businesses. In the past decade, we have seen them rapidly buy a lot of fast-food brands, both big and small, and bring them all under the Inspire Brands umbrella. In their latest efforts to build a fast-food empire, Inspire Brands have purchased Rusty Taco, Sonic and Jimmy John’s. With the acquisition of Rusty Taco in early 2018, Inspire Brands managed to get their foot in the door in the Mexican fast-food arena. But Rusty Taco has had a previous association with other brands under the Inspire umbrella. It was acquired by Buffalo Wild Wings around 2014 which was in turn acquired by Arby’s Restaurant Group Inc. and turned into what is now known as ‘Inspire Brands’. Near the end of 2018, Inspire Brands struck an acquisition deal with the burger chain, Sonic. Continuing with the acquisition frenzy, in September 2019, Inspire Brands announced the purchase of the sandwich chain, Jimmy John’s. It is interesting to note that Inspire Brands’ parent company, Roark Capital, was already the majority shareholder in Jimmy John’s since 2016. With its newest acquisition, Inspire Brands will now reportedly become the fourth-largest restaurant company in the U.S., bringing its restaurant locations tally to a whopping 11,200 and sales exceeding $14 billion.
2. Arby’s used to be one of John Stewart’s favorite punching bags
Before he left ‘The Daily Show’, Jon Stewart used to rip into Arby’s all the time. While we have no idea what brought it on, Stewart has been relentless with his Arby’s jokes over the years. It all started back in 2013 when during an episode of the show, he covered a story about Arby’s and stated that “It’s like shock and awe for your bowels.” The executives at Arby’s sure did not appreciate this nasty comment but refrained from saying anything. Stewart, on the other hand, continued to lash out with comments like “the only food classified as a war crime” and calling Arby’s food as “the meal that’s a dare for your colon.”Arby’s took his snide remarks to the chin and wisely resisted from issuing a response. Instead, they decided that any publicity was good publicity and decided to run with it. Arby’s was undergoing a significant rebranding of its business at that time and even though Stewart’s barbs were always negative, Arby’s believed that if they portrayed as if they were in on the jokes, it would be a fantastic opportunity for them to reach out to a younger customer base. Accordingly, Arby’s sent a selection of their sandwiches to ‘The Daily Show’ team along with a letter acknowledging Stewart’s ‘playful’ jokes about Arby’s. Stewart’s team was reportedly impressed with it and even sent a thank-you note to Arby’s. The good-natured ribbing continued for a few more years until Stewart announced his departure from the show in 2015. Arby’s promptly took the opportunity to jibe back at Stewart with a Twitter post that said ‘Jon, feel free to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.’ They also put out two commercials, sponsored one of the last episodes of the show with Jon Stewart and featured a pre-taped goodbye segment with Arby’s CEO. Additionally, the sandwich chain also released a secret menu item in honor of Stewart’s time on ‘The Daily Show’ and called it ‘Daily Deli’. They stated that the double corned beef on rye sandwich would not be listed on the menu but would be prepared if a customer asked for it. Arby’s received much positive feedback from the public for all their efforts.
1. Arby’s original menu was quite limited for the time
Since it’s inaugural 55 years ago, Arby’s has managed to firmly establish itself in the fast-food category. Walking among giants like McDonald’s and Burger King must have surely been a tall order for Arby’s back in 1964, but it has surely made its mark. Customers throng to its various outlets for the delectable Arby’s roast beef sandwiches, horsey sauce, curly fries, and Jamocha shakes. But did you know that when Arby’s started out, their menu had an extremely limited number of items? Reportedly, the Raffel Brothers, who are the founders of Arby’s, chanced upon the idea of starting up a fast-food restaurant when they were spending an evening at a beach resort in Massachusetts. At that time, they had recently left their jobs supplying equipment to restaurants and were eager to cash in on the fast-food fad. But they were not sure about the food that they would like to serve at their fast-food joint. While at the resort, they saw lots of people lined up in the rain outside an establishment serving roast beef. And it struck them there was a gap in the fast-food scene of that time that they could exploit by opening a restaurant serving roast beef sandwiches. But Arby’s initial menu had a surprisingly limited number of items: roast beef sandwiches, potato chips, soft drinks, and Texas-sized iced tea. While others catered to a wide variety of customer tastes, Arby’s decided to focus on certain core items and excel at them. And it’s interesting to know that the original restaurant was quite fancy for its time, with plush décor, as opposed to a typical fast-food outlet interior.