Although it may appear that the world has completely moved on from burgers to burrito bowls, two fast-food companies were quietly building up their brand.

Arby’s and Burger King struggled behind big fast-food behemoths like Chick-Fil-A and McDonald’s in the past. But today, the restaurants are soaring past the competition.


According to Yahoo! Finance, Arby’s recently reported same-store sales growth of 7.6% compared with last year’s second quarter, and Burger King’s reported sales are up an impressive 7.9%. Both restaurants exceeded the industry average sales growth of 2.3%. Meanwhile, McDonald’s reported a same-store sales of negative 0.7% in its second quarter.

But what, exactly, is helping these chains crush the competition? 


Arby’s focused on a complete redesign of their stores and marketing approach. The company’s CEO Paul Brown tells Business Insider, “It’s been a process. We stepped back and made a conscious decision to differentiate ourselves in the marketplace.”

Arby’s introduced its “We’ve Got the Meats” campaign, which seemed like an interesting choice in light of America’s current obsession with all things green. But the redesign worked, proving Americans will always love their meat.


A photo posted by Arby’s (@arbys) on

And unlike McDonald’s, Arby’s has a focused menu. The chain only added one new item to its menu, the beef brisket, in the last two years.

Burger King also tuned into a niche that other fast-food restaurants seemed to ignore.


A photo posted by Kirby (@ybrikuil) on

Burger King re-introduced their previously discontinued Chicken Fries, proving to be the dark horse in the 2015 chicken revolution. The nuggets, which have gained a McRib-like cult following, are only available for part of the year. The limited-time offer causes customers to flock to the store to stock up on as many chicken fries as possible before they run out. For this reason, Burger King credits poultry for a surge in sales.


Additionally, executives made franchising easier for overseas restaurants and outsourced the operations part of its business, giving Burger King the opportunity to retain more cash for investments. 

While it’s possible that current health trends may help certain restaurants attract new customers, Arby’s and Burger King prove that sticking to what you know best—and giving meat-loving Americans what they crave—can reap major benefits in the long-term.

[via Yahoo! Finance]

RELATED: How Brisket Conquered the BBQ World.