Iconic Drive-Thru Brand Recorded SSS Gains, Amended Debt, and Grew Franchisee Base in 2020 Setting Up Significant Momentum for 2021
TAMPA, Fla. – Checkers Drive-In Restaurants, Inc., the parent company of Checkers & Rally’s iconic drive-thru restaurants, today announced that it has received a $20M capital injection from Oak Hill Capital Partners IV (Oak Hill), a leading private equity firm and owner of the drive-thru concept. The injection of capital will be used to fund Checkers & Rally’s aggressive five-year growth plan.
“Checkers has demonstrated strong performance period after period despite the significant challenges brought by the events of 2020,” said Peter Armstrong, Principal of Oak Hill. “Company and franchised restaurants recorded high single digit same-store-sales (SSS) gains in 2020 and that momentum is continuing into the first weeks of 2021 because of the strategic marketing and operations plans rolled out before the pandemic, which were enhanced by the demand for contactless drive-thru and delivery experiences. We have great confidence in the Checkers management team, and we are pleased to support them in their plans for the future.”
Checkers & Rally’s resilient operating model, with closed kitchens, double drive-thrus, and a dedicated e-commerce pick up lane, has garnered tremendous interest from the QSR franchising community. In fact, the brand approved 40 new franchisees in 2020 and has 72 new locations in the development pipeline.
“I am tremendously proud of the work accomplished by our Checkers & Rally’s family last year, including our management team, our restaurant support center, our franchisees and operators, and especially our hardworking general managers and crew members who showed up every day despite the challenges of COVID-19 to serve our guests and our communities,” said Frances Allen, President & CEO of Checkers Drive-In Restaurants, Inc., who will be unveiling the company’s aggressive growth plan this week at the 2021 ICR Conference. “I look forward to investing in our people, our operations and our restaurants in the months ahead to continue our tremendous momentum in 2021 and beyond.”
Oak Hill approved the capital injection following the company’s successful debt amendment efforts at the end of last year.
About Checkers Drive-In Restaurants, Inc.
Based in Tampa, Fla., Checkers Drive-In Restaurants, Inc., an iconic and innovative drive-thru restaurant chain known for its bold, craveable food, famous fries, exceptional value, and people-first attitude, operates and franchises both Checkers® and Rally’s® restaurants. With 836 restaurants and room to grow, Checkers & Rally’s is a proven brand with flexible building formats that is aggressively expanding across the country. Checkers & Rally’s is dedicated to being a place where franchisees and employees who work hard can create opportunities for themselves, their families, and their communities. In recent years, the brand has earned several of the industry’s most prestigious awards including: “#1 Most Craveable Fries” by Restaurant Business; Best Franchise Deal and “Best Drive-Thru in America” by QSR Magazine; Top Food and Beverage Franchise by Franchise Business Review; the “Hot! Again” award from Nation’s Restaurant News and has consistently been ranked on Entrepreneur’s Franchise 500.
About Oak Hill Capital Partners
Oak Hill Capital is a private equity firm managing funds with over $16 billion of initial capital commitments and co-investments since inception. Over the past 35 years, Oak Hill Capital and its predecessors have invested in approximately 100 private equity transactions across broad segments of the U.S. and global economies. Oak Hill Capital applies an industry-focused, theme-based approach to investing in the following sectors: Services, Industrials, Media & Communications, and Consumer. Oak Hill works actively in partnership with management to implement strategic and operational initiatives to create franchise value. For more information, please visit: www.oakhill.com
Forward-Looking Statements Statements included herein may constitute “forward-looking statements”, which relate to future events, the future performance, or financial condition of Checkers following the acquisition of Checkers by Oak Hill. These statements are not guarantees of future performance, condition, or results and involve a number of risks and uncertainties. Actual results and condition may differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements as a result of a number of factors.