How Rick Silva transformed Checkers Drive-In Restaurants to become a category-leader in sales growth Featured

8:00pm EDT June 30, 2013
Rick Silva, president and CEO, Checkers Drive-In Restaurants Inc. Rick Silva, president and CEO, Checkers Drive-In Restaurants Inc.

Hospitality

FINALIST 

Rick Silva

president and CEO

Checkers Drive-In Restaurants Inc.

Throughout his career, Rick Silva has earned a reputation for bringing energy, vision and endless dedication to his work. He has also become known as an approachable leader as president and CEO of Checkers Drive-In Restaurants Inc. No matter who he is talking to, be it a general manager, a franchisee, or an investor, Silva is genuinely interested in everyone’s ideas, always looking for new ways to improve and grow the Checkers/Rally’s business.

Checkers and Rally’s began as two separate, but similar fast-food concepts , both dedicated to giving guests great food at great value with fast and friendly service. Checkers was founded in 1986 in Mobile, Ala., and Rally’s in 1985 in Louisville, Ky. Checkers was moved to Florida in 1987 and quickly began to grow.

The two brands merged in 1999 as Checkers Drive-In Restaurants Inc., becoming the nation’s largest chain of double drive-through restaurants. When Silva joined the company in 2007, it was struggling with slowing sales, leadership turnover and underperforming locations.

Silva led a restructuring and expansion of the business. He recruited industry-leading talent to the management team, led new brand strategy and directed the implementation of best-in-class operating and performance management systems. He took risks in new technology, developed new product lines and laid out an aggressive plan for sales and unit growth.

All this occurred at a time when many restaurant chains were closing units and businesses in every sector were pulling back on investments. Silva encouraged franchises to believe in the future and his own belief in the brand has generated a complete transformation of the Checkers/Rally’s brand.

Thanks to Silva’s leadership and perseverance, the chain has experienced category-leading sales growth with more than two straight years of consecutive same-store sales increases every quarter. Moreover, the company is expanding again with new franchisees signing up in record number and a new Checkers or Rally’s restaurant opening almost every week.

How to reach: Checkers Drive-In Restaurants Inc., www.checkers.com