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Inspire Brands boots up a different sort of website

Photograph courtesy of Inspire Brands

The young parent company of Buffalo Wild Wings, Sonic Drive-In and Arby’s has fired up a new website that details the chains’ economic and social impact on each state where they operate, a part of the corporation’s effort to function as a different sort of restaurant enterprise.

Many large chains, from McDonald’s to Starbucks, issue annual reports and maintain websites that log the operations’ sustainability and social responsibility programs. Inspire Brands, formed just last year through the merger of Buffalo Wild Wings and Arby’s, shows how much its brands donated to philanthropic causes state by state and nationally. But it also details how many jobs are provided and recently created in each state by its affiliated restaurants, how much economic activity is generated, how many franchisees are located in the market and how many restaurants have been built.

The website also reports the recent giveback efforts of Inspire and its franchisees.

“The data we’ve highlighted is intended to show the positive impact our brands are making across the country and how Inspire is committed to being a good citizen, which is one of our core behaviors,” says Christopher Fuller, head of communications for Inspire Brands.

Few mentions of the company’s restaurant brands are included on the site, which is separate from a more traditional website aimed at consumers, investors and the media. 

“Many people know our brands based on the food we serve, the advertising we display or the restaurants they visit,” says Fuller. “But Inspire and our brands—and the restaurant industry as a whole—is an important growth engine for our country. This is something we should be proud of and celebrate.”

The site addresses a frustration often voiced by industry leaders and lobbyists: The restaurant industry fails to trumpet the positive impact it has on the economy and the lives of many American workers and communities. 

“We believe the time is right to create a different kind of restaurant company–one with a broad portfolio of distinct brands across a full spectrum of restaurant occasions,” Paul Brown, CEO of Inspire Brands, said when the company was created in February 2018. 

The company is currently a holding of Roark Capital, a private-equity firm that also owns Focus Brands. Wall Street speculation holds that Inspire will eventually be spun off in a public stock offering. 


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