Founded in Alabama in 1999, Checkers Drive-In Restaurants has grown to one of the largest chains of burger-milkshake slingers in the country.
While Checkers is the brand used back East, the company uses Rally’s as the name for its restaurants in the West.
Arizona only has four Rally’s with one in Mesa at 343 West McKellips Road.
Now Mesa will get its second Rally’s – the fifth in Arizona – at 403 N. Greenfield Road at the Greenfield Road-University Drive intersection. It is scheduled to open tomorrow, May 24.
Rally’s are individually-owned franchises. The duo behind the new Mesa location: Fred Bux and Dan Leung.
Bux’s career in franchising started when he was 16 at a Chicago Burger King where he worked his way up to general manager. When he moved to Arizona, he worked as a district manager of Taco Bell, Pizza Hut and Kentucky Fried Chicken.
Leung is a self-proclaimed foodie and holds a degree in culinary arts from the Scottsdale Culinary Institute. He blends the creative side with a background in real estate development.
“We’re hoping to hire 40 to 50 employees, about half full-time and half part-time,” said Bux. “Always looking for great people.”
To apply, he added, text “jobs” to 8801 or go online at snagajob.com
Leung said he and Bux have been eager to open Mesa’s second Rally’s, especially since the pandemic sent drive-thru business at the first Mesa location at 343 West McKellips Road booming.
But the duo had to wait out a slight delay in construction, also pandemic-related. “It delayed our opening by a couple months,” said Leung.
“We’re itching to get open as soon as possible,” he added.
The Greenfield Road location is within a 10-minute drive of Red Mountain and East Valley high schools and several elementary and junior high schools.
The new Rally’s is also within a mile of Falcon Glen, Heather Brook and Citrus Gardens apartment complexes. Add in 55-plus living and scores of homes in the neighborhood and you have Rally’s core customers.
“Our demographic is from high school through middle age,” said Bux.
The new Big Bacon Buford headlines a burger-dominated menu.
Veggie burgers? Not here.
Vegetarians can hit the legendary Rally’s fries and banana shakes, though.
The new owners believe Mesa is more than ready for another Rally’s.
“I think it’s an underserved market. Rally’s on McKellips does really well, so we know there’s a demand for it,” Leung said. “It’s more than McDonald’s and run-of-the-mill quick service. Rally’s has got a little more of a foodie niche to it.”
The new Rally’s has no inside seating, but does have patio seating to go along with its drive-thru core.
Bux knows the area well, as he lived in Mesa for two decades while managing restaurants here.
“This is our first partnership,” Leung said. “We were both interested in Rally’s and doing research, we met each other through (the Rally’s company) … They kind of played matchmakers.”
They found plenty of common ground.
“We have that passion for excellence and standards of quality in the food and presentation,” Bux said.