Even with the recession and some fast food chains doing well, Arby’s is clearly the one joint falling behind.
Perhaps most significantly, the meat of the business isn’t particularly good. On Friday, I stopped into an Arby’s for the first time this millennium. It was clean, and I noticed an array of products beyond the bare-bones menu I recall from my Midwestern youth. Moneybox may be a food snob, but he is a nondiscriminating connoisseur of street food and greasy fare who still makes the occasional run for the border at Taco Bell. (Don’t tell Mrs. Moneybox.) But even I had difficulty completing the reporting for this assignment. Forget about salads and vegetables. As I scoured the menu—the gyro, the french dip, the patty melt—I had difficulty identifying anything that had gone through less processing than uranium. A few bites of a roast beef sandwich slathered with goopy cheddar sauce, and I was done. On the food chain, the thinly sliced beef is about as far from Boar’s Head deli meat as Boar’s Head oven-roasted ham is from the vaunted jamón Iberico.
Well, okay, it probably is the roast beef. But the restaurant doesn’t even have anything else to offer customers aside from it’s namesake sandwich. Not a good business decision.