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ROY ROGERS 'BACK BY POPULAR DEMAND' IN BALTIMORE/WASHINGTON/SALISBURY

ROY ROGERS 'BACK BY POPULAR DEMAND' IN BALTIMORE/WASHINGTON/SALISBURY
 ROCKY MOUNT, N.C., March 16 /PRNewswire/ -- Hardee's Food Systems, Inc. announced today that it will re-introduce Roy Rogers menu and branding at 225 of its restaurants in the Baltimore/Washington and Salisbury markets. The revised concept offers Roy Rogers original lunch and dinner menu, complemented by Hardee's breakfast.
 Hardee's purchased the 648 unit Roy Rogers chain from Marriott Corporation in 1990 with intention of converting the restaurants to Hardee's. However, sales trends in many of the restaurants converted from Roy Rogers to Hardee's in Baltimore and Washington have not lived up to expectations. Hardee's breakfast has increased morning sales while lunch and dinner sales have decreased.
 Hardee's officials noted the continuing popularity of the Roy Rogers brand in the Northeast. Headquartered near Washington, D.C., Roy Rogers has for many years enjoyed a strong and loyal following among consumers locally and in the surrounding markets. Consumer affiliation with Roy Rogers remains strong even two years after the conversion to the Hardee's concept.
 While Hardee's feels that the re-introduction of Roy Rogers will be enthusiastically welcomed by consumers in Baltimore, Washington and Salisbury, company officials emphasize that these changes are regional. Elsewhere, the Hardee's trademark maintains a healthy presence. The company enjoys a No. 1 or No. 2 market share ranking in 60 percent of the markets where it operates, primarily in the southeast and midwest.
 "Roy Rogers is a powerful trademark with a very loyal customer base in the Washington, D.C. and Baltimore areas," said Bob Autry, Hardee's President and CEO. "The change back to the Roy Rogers concept with Hardee's breakfast in these markets reflects our commitment to our customers. The bottom line is, we're giving them what they like best."
 Prior to making this decision, Hardee's tested consumer response to several market positions and sign adaptations over a period of months, in addition to conducting extensive quantitative analysis, and entertaining local franchisee input. Signage for the new concept will prominently highlight the Roy Rogers logo, along with the message "Hardee's Breakfast." "Signage and menu will be consistent throughout the entire Roy Rogers trading area," noted Autry. "This will allow for a more cost effective advertising and promotion of Roy Rogers products."
 New York based ad agency Jordan, McGrath, Case and Taylor will spearhead a new advertising campaign supporting these changes. The campaign will make it's debut in mid-May and will be in full swing during the peak summer period. Weinstock, White and Associates, Hardee's regional advertising and marketing promotions agency based in Baltimore, Maryland, will continue to provide strategic thinking for local and regional marketing plans.
 "We are very excited about bringing back the Roy Rogers name and menu," said Joe Masci, a Baltimore-based Roy Rogers franchisee. "We began testing this new idea a few months ago, and customer response has been terrific. In the consumers mind here, Roy Rogers stands for high quality and premium products, while Hardee's has the best breakfast in the business. It's really the best of both."
 Hardee's says the cost of going back to Roy Rogers will be relatively modest. "We will have a one-time expense of $4 million in our first quarter and we expect this cost will be recovered quickly through increased sales," Autry said.
 Headquartered in Rocky Mount, North Carolina, Hardee's Food Systems, Inc. is the third largest fast food hamburger company in America, operating a combined system of over 4,000 restaurants in 40 states and eleven foreign countries.
 -0- 3/16/92
 /CONTACT: W. Maurice Bridges, Director of Public Affairs, Hardee's Food Systems, Inc., 919-977-8943/ CO: Hardee's Food Systems, Inc. ST: North Carolina IN: FOD SU: PDT


JZ -- CH006 -- 8264 03/16/92 11:17 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Mar 16, 1992
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