Bio: I am a food writer living in Tucson, AZ.

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  1. Pingback: Nine On The Line With Rita Connelly - Tucson Foodie
  2. Ellen Hartman · June 13, 2017

    I wanted to give you the news that an investment and restaurant management company, Irish Beef has acquired the Tucson market for Arby’s. Irish Beef bought 8 exiting restaurants and signed a development agreement to open 4 more restaurants in the area in the next 3 years. All existing units will be remodeled. Now I know Arby’s is a chain but you should try them again….

    Arby’s has transformed itself in recent years from a QSR brand to a gourmet sandwich shop using the tag line “We have the Meats!” In addition to roast beef, Arby’s has introduced venison and pork belly sandwiches and a two tone combo Liger shake with chocolate and orange cream marketed to rival Starbucks offerings. The brand is positioned as an quirky and unpredictable brand that appeals to Millennials and older grownups alike!

    See the news release and links to photos below. Please let me know your questions. Thank you.

    Restaurant Management and Investor Group Acquires All Tucson Arby’s
    New owners begin remodeling eight existing Arby’s, plan to open four more

    TUCSON, Ariz. (June 13, 2017) – Irish Beef, Inc., a restaurant management and investment company based in Dallas, TX, has acquired eight Arby’s restaurants in the Tucson area from Cardinal RB Arizona, LLC and has signed a development agreement to open four more in the next three years. Long-time local director of operations and 20-year Arby’s veteran, Jami Salyer, will oversee all Tucson restaurants operations for Irish Beef, the development of four units, and the hiring of 100 new team members.

    The new owners have immediately begun remodeling the existing Tucson Arby’s to the brand’s Inspire restaurant design. The design includes an enhanced new look featuring contemporary colors, décor, and lighting. With warm woods, subway tile finishes, communal tables, and a more open kitchen, the new design –
    along with significant menu enhancements – has been winning raves from guests across the nation.

    “I am so excited for the changes we’re making and for the opportunity to be part of this group,” Salyer said. “I know our guests are going to love the new Arby’s, and I’m proud to lead Arby’s future growth in my hometown and to be deeply involved in the community.”

    The first of four new Arby’s will open later this year, she added, and remodeling will be complete on at least two of the eight existing locations before the end of 2017. Collectively the new restaurants will bring an additional 100 jobs to Tucson.

    Arby’s in Tucson has a long history of supporting the local community. During the first few months of 2017, the restaurants have already raised more than $36,000 for Cerebral Palsy research and the No Kid Hungry campaign. New employee training and development programs have been implemented in recent months under Salyer’s leadership.

    In recent years, Arby’s leadership has transformed the brand from a traditional quick-service restaurant format into a Fast Crafted® restaurant featuring premium meats. Today, Arby’s serves at least eight different meats each day, including smoked brisket, Angus steak, corned beef, roast turkey, pepper bacon, and its iconic roast beef.

    About Irish Beef, Inc.
    Founded by several Dallas area entrepreneurs and industry veterans, Irish Beef is a restaurant management and investment company that is focused on acquiring and developing the Arby’s brand in various U.S. markets. For more information visit: http://locations.arbys.com/us/az/tucson/5759-e-broadway-blvd.html

    About Arby’s®
    Arby’s, founded in 1964, is the first nationally franchised sandwich restaurant brand, with more than 3,300 restaurants worldwide. The Arby’s brand purpose is “Inspiring Smiles Through Delicious Experiences®.” Arby’s restaurants feature Fast Crafted® service, a unique blend of quick-serve speed and value combined with the quality and made-for-you care of fast casual. Arby’s Restaurant Group, Inc. is the parent company of the franchisor of the Arby’s brand and is headquartered in Atlanta, Ga. Visit Arbys.com for more information.

    For photos, please visit: http://arbys.com/press-center


  3. Christine Dusome · December 11, 2017

    Hi Rita,
    Do you have an email you can be contacted at?
    Thank you,


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