The History of the Arby'sŪ Brand
Arby's was founded in 1964, but the concept for a roast beef sandwich franchise was rooted many years earlier. Forrest Raffel, a graduate of Cornell University School of Hotel and Restaurant Administration and his younger brother Leroy, a graduate of Wharton School of Finance, University of Pennsylvania, bought an uncle's restaurant equipment business in the 1950s. Raffel Brothers, Inc. became a fitting introduction to the foodservice industry for the brothers.
The small company rapidly grew to become one of the country's leading foodservice consulting firms. Raffel Brothers, Inc. designed and installed hundreds of foodservice facilities including the flight kitchens at Greater Pittsburgh International Airport, interiors of six Ohio Turnpike restaurants and foodservice facilities for the Hospitality Inn motel chain of Standard Oil of Ohio. But the Raffel brothers quickly sensed the potential of fast food and decided to develop a franchise operation based on something other than hamburgers. Leroy remembers, "We were totally confident, while everyone else thought we were out of our minds."