Do You REALLY Know How Arby’s Got Their Name?
There are a lot of bogus theories going around, including one that I subscribed to, but the Arby's official Twitter cleared up the decades-old debate regarding the meaning behind their name.
I would have bet my life's savings (which is probably less that you might think) that I knew EXACTLY how the fast-food roast beef chain of restaurants got their name. I even told my mother who came to visit me last month with all the certainty in the world, that despite being spelled "A-R-B-Y-S," it's just a fun spelling of the initials of the product that they sell... Roast beef! "Roast beef" is abbreviated to R.B... Say the initials, and it's SOUNDS like it's spelled "Arby." Easy enough, right?
Well, not exactly. I was listening to a discussion on a national radio show last week, and someone who touted themselves as a "fast food expert" (whatever THAT means) claimed that despite most people THINKING that Arby's was based off the abbreviation "R.B.'s," THAT theory is actually incorrect. This so-called "expert" went on to say that, in reality, ARBY'S WAS THE ABBREVIATION ITSELF! He said that even though the name has no periods (A.R.B.Y.S.), Arby's is an abbreviation for "America's Roast Beef - Yes!" So, for the past week, I've just been going about my day assuming that the nerd who seemed very sure of himself knew what he was talking about and that it was, in fact, "America's Roast Beef - Yes."
BUT WAIT! It turns out that even HE was mistaken! "America's Roast Beef - Yes" is another popular theory that is supposedly rooted in Arby's VERY FIRST national ad campaign dating all the way back to the 1980's! It is ALSO NOT WHAT ARBY'S MEANS!
In a tweet made yesterday, the official Twitter account of Arby's brought an end to this very geeky argument that has dated back to the 1980's! It turns out that, in fact, Arby's IS based off of the initials R.B... BUT it's NOT "Roast Beef." It's Raffel Brothers! The Raffel Brothers, LeRoy and Forrest, were the founders of Arby's back in 1964 when the restaurant was only located in Georgia! I guess in the 1960's people didn't have time to say they were going to the "Raffel Brothers," so it become abbreviated to "Don't be a square, meet us at the R.B.'s!" When it came time to expand to a national franchise, "R.B.'s" became "Arby's."
So there you go! It's not an acronym, or an abbreviation for "Roast Beef." Here's the tweet from Arby's and a link for more info!