A national investment company has acquired all local Arby’s restaurants with plans to remodel existing shops and add more.
At the helm of this transition and growth will be a Tucson native who began her career with the food chain as a teenager.
Jami Salyers, the local director of operations, has worked for Arby’s for 26 years.
“I began with Arby’s when I was 16 — it was my first job” she said. “Being promoted from within the company has given me the ability to relate to the employees in each of these positions and has definitely been beneficial over the years.”
Salyers said she is eager to oversee the new owner’s plans.
“Customers should expect a lot of changes,” she said. “We are definitely poised for growth.”
Dallas-based Irish Beef Inc., bought the seven Tucson Arby’s and the one in Sierra Vista late last year. Owners plan to open four more restaurants within three years and add 100 employees to the current workforce of 150.
One location, at 7285 E. 22nd St., has already been remodeled and features wood, tile and communal dining tables.
The plan is to have two more remodeled by the end of the year and one new store open, Salyers said.
“Tucson is a very exciting market for us for several reasons, including the demographics of the market… the open space for new restaurants, and the population growth and development that is actively happening,” said Kevin Kenefick, co-owner of Irish Beef.
“We look forward to growing together with the community over the coming years and refreshing the Arby’s brand for all of Tucson.”
Aside from its signature roast beef sandwiches, Arby’s also serves pork belly, Greek gyros and venison. The meat is sliced daily in the restaurants.
Salyers said the new owners are supportive of the local Arby’s community initiatives.
The local restaurants have raised more than $36,000 for cerebral palsy research and the No Kid Hungry campaign that stays in Tucson.
“That’s a point we make to our customers,” Salyers said. “Every penny stays in Tucson.”