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Checkers Franchise Review

About.com Rating 3.5 Star Rating


Double name branding, double drive thru, and double benefits can be found at Checkers/Rally’s, the largest double drive-thru restaurant chain in the nation with over 820 locations in 29 states.
Checkers franchise is known for having great tasting "hand-seasoned" burgers and fries combined with fast service (45 seconds from order to pick-up) because the double drive-thru allows service twice as fast as big competitors. On-the-go patrons appreciate the quick service with the added benefit of an average ticket around $5 per person. Franchisees are professionals with a proven background in a previous business endeavor or fast food with the financial resources to open one or more locations.

Background and Benefits

Checkers Drive-In Restaurants, Inc. started out in Mobile, Alabama, in 1986 and is now headquartered in Tampa, Florida. The Company grew to 85 stores in the Southeast before going public in 1991. Checker’s merged with Rally’s burgers in 1999 in a stock share merger that introduced the Checkers branding into the Midwest and Western territories. Today, Checkers/Rally’s has positioned itself for rapid growth in major markets nationally. Growth markets follow the Eastern Seaboard with choice areas in the Midwest where the chain is already established, and it is equally well positioned for growth in the untapped markets of the north east including Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Maine, Connecticut and Rhode Island where incentives lie in wait for the pioneering franchisee.

How Much Does a Checker’s Franchise Cost

After paying a $1000 application fee and proving a minimum net worth of $400,000, with $150,000 in cash liquidity, franchisees will be asked to pay a $30,000 franchise fee and to be prepared to invest between $468,600 and $660,100. The royalty fee of 4% is expected bi-monthly and is paid in tandem with up to 5% of sales as an allotment for the local “advertising cooperative” with an additional .375% of sales for point-of-purchase materials. Four weeks training in Tampa or Indianapolis rounds out the time investment.

What We Like

The whole shebang fits on just ½ an acre and most restaurants average just 700 square feet. No eating-in means less employees and lower overhead costs. Checker’s “in-factory, modular construction” offers unprecedented speed for a quick opening. Franchisees can be up and running in just weeks. Twice the number of guests can be served with the double drive-thru. Checkers/Rally offers “adult-focused” food that consistently ranks high in taste tests, with QSR Magazine naming Checkers the "Best Drive-Thru in America."


  • Special Agreements - Unique Single Store and Multi-Restaurant Area Development Agreements (ADA)
  • Veteran's Program - Reduced pricing for Veterans


  • Principal Competitors - McDonald's Corporation, Wendy's International Inc., and Sonic Corporation offer extraordinary competition.
  • Expensive - The 4% Royalty is low but the (up to) 5% advertising fee cancels out any savings.

Checkers Franchise Information

Business Established: 1986
Franchising Since: 1989
Franchise Fee: $30,000
Total Investment: $468,600 to $660,100

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