Checkers / Rally'sThe first Rally’s location opened in 1985 in Louisville, Kentucky, and Checkers opened in Mobile, Alabama in 1986. Despite being opened in different cities by different people, the two chains were remarkably similar. Both focused on a double drive-thru format that allowed faster processing of drive-thru orders and had little to no indoor seating. To accommodate walk up traffic small counters similar to those used on the hamburger stands of the 50s and 60s were implemented. Neither chain was inspired by the other due to the close proximity of their openings, but rather developed so similarly out of coincidence.

It was no surprise that the two chains would merge in 1999. CKE Restaurants, the parent company of Hardees and Carl’s Jr., sold the Rally’s chain to the Checkers corporation and they both adopted similar advertising and menus. Modern restaurants of the two chains are identical except for the name on the signage. The Checkers menu deviates slightly with the addition of seasoned french fries and hot wings. Restaurant locations of the two chains combined now total over 800, including international branches in the American Samoa and Isreal.

Checkerburger with CheeseBurgers at Checkers and Rally’s stand out for the seasoning blend used in the ground beef, which gives the finished burgers a unique taste. The basic hamburger is known as a Checkerburger, and most of the premium variations add gourmet toppings to this base. The Cheese Double Cheese is the chains’ double cheeseburger and features two slices of cheese to match the two patties. Most of Checkers’ premium burgers include bacon, such as the Baconzilla and the Bacon Roadhouse on Texas toast instead of a bun. Rally’s features the same burgers, but does not offer some of the premium options that the Checkers line does.