Fort Lauderdale, Florida - After more than a year of preparation and testing, Arby's Kitchen of the Future made its debut at the Arby's 2000 Worldwide Franchise Convention, held recently in Las Vegas.

The Kitchen of the Future featured technology and equipment currently being tested for a modernized Arby's kitchen that would make front-line, back-line and drive-thru operations more efficient. Steven Jones, director of franchise management for Triarc Restaurant Group (TRG), franchisor of the Arby's brand, led group sessions and individual tours of the kitchen during the convention's trade show. A prototype of the kitchen was assembled inside a full-scale Arby's Pinnacle restaurant, located in the exhibition hall.

"The overall reaction from Arby's operators was very positive and very excited," Jones said. "The operators' and managers' perspective of the equipment was that this was exactly where we needed to head to improve product flow and service times."

Next steps include testing the kitchen in an actual restaurant location, then testing it in five more units in 2001. Following test evaluations, TRG plans to incorporate all or some components of the kitchen in future Arby's restaurants. - Triarc Restaurant Group