Carrols Restaurant Group

Carrols Restaurant Group, Inc.
Traded as NASDAQ: TAST
Industry Restaurants (SIC code 5812)
Founded 1960[1]
Founder Herbert N. Slotnik[1]
Headquarters Syracuse, New York, U.S.
Number of locations
554 O&O; 30 franchised[2]
Area served
United States, Puerto Rico, Ecuador[2]
Key people
Dan Accordino, CEO
Products Burger King (franchisee)
Revenue US$816.1 million (Fiscal year 2009)[3]
US$20 million (FY 2009)[3]
US$21.8 million (FY 2009)[3]
Total assets US$440 million[3]
Number of employees
over 10,000[1]

Carrols Restaurant Group is an American franchisee company and is the largest Burger King franchisee in the world; Carrols owns and operates over 650 Burger King locations across 20 U.S. states.

The company used to own the restaurant chains Pollo Tropical, Taco Cabana, and Carrols. The original Carrols chain ceased operations in the United States in the mid-1970s. The last unaffiliated Carrols Restaurants existed in Finland. The chain was eventually bought out by another Finnish fast-food chain, Hesburger. In 2012, Hesburger announced that the brand Carrols would be discontinued; the last Carrols (in Oulunkylä) was renamed Hesburger on May 29.


An offshoot of the Tastee-Freez company, it was named for the daughter of Tastee-Freez co-owner Leo Marantz, Carol.[4][5]

Herb Slotnick bought the franchise rights for the New York area and started opening restaurants in the Syracuse, New York area in the early 1960s. They expanded over the years throughout New York State. During the 1960s, a yellow slug character served as Carrols' first mascot, replaced in 1974 by a young blonde boy wearing a tweed suit and a Fedora hat.

Most Carrols restaurant locations were converted to Burger King franchises in 1975, with less profitable stores shuttered. After the conversion, the Carrols brand was only found overseas in Finland, Sweden, Estonia, Latvia and Russia, except for a single franchisee-owned store in Batavia, New York which operated under the Carrols name into the 1980s before closing.

The Finnish group Carrols opened up several locations in St. Petersburg, Russia in the mid-to-late 1990s. In 1998 it opened its first operation in Moscow located at 'then' the new Ohotni Riad Mall. Because of the Financial Crisis of 1998, the operations did not generate enough sales for Carrols, and by 2000 all Carrols outlets in Russia were closed.

The Finnish restaurant company Hesburger started to buy out the last existing Carrol's locations in Helsinki, Finland in the mid-2000s.

On December 9, 2005, Carrols Holdings and Mimi's Café was filed for offerings.[6]

In February 2011 the company announced it was divesting itself of its two Spanish-themed chains, Taco Cabana and Pollo Tropical, in a spin-off aimed at helping the company focus on its core Burger King operations.[7] The sale of the two chains, collectively called the Fiesta Restaurant Group, was completed in May 2012.[8]

Burger King

In June 2012, Carrols acquired 278 Burger King locations from Burger King for approximately $150 million. In exchange, the Burger King parent, Burger King Corporation took a 28.9% stake in the company. The transaction involved a line of credit that would be used by Carrols to renovate more than 450 of its stores.[8]

Carrols restaurant menu

During the 1970s, Carrols tried their hand at serving fried chicken; its attempt, fried in oil under pressure, was advertised as "Carrols Crunchy Country ChickenI can't say it, and I work here". Carrols also formed an agreement with Good Humor to sell several of its ice cream novelty bars.

The flagship sandwich in Carrols' original menu was the Club Burger. Like the Big Mac at McDonald's, it also had two all-beef patties, a special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles and onions, served on a sesame-seeded, triple-decker hamburger bun. The Club Burger also had a tomato slice, and its special sauce is known as Crisbo Royale Sauce. In the early-to-mid-1970s, there was no tomato slice, and the sauce was a French dressing variant called Royal Dressing. The roll was sliced into three parts: crown, center and heel. The sandwich was assembled in a paper collar with the crown having the pickle, lettuce and royal dressing followed by a patty (as I recall topped with onions), center bun section, another patty and a slice of American cheese and finally the heel which had ketchup. The fish sandwich at Carrols was the Sea Filet. This was a fish fillet that was deep fried placed on a steamed roll dressed with tartar sauce, lettuce and salt. They also rolled out the Brute, their own version of Burger King's Whopper. Carrols' Roast Beef Hero piled microwave heated slices of deli roast beef inside a bolillio roll with a dripping of au jus sauce. When introduced, the meat was sliced in the restaurant from roasts. Later the roast beef came in pre-packaged single serving units, served in carton. Carrols' Toasted Cheese (aka TC) had two yellow American cheese slices criss-crossing on both the top and bottom sides of a hamburger bun (cut surfaces to the outside), which was pressed with a spatula as it cooked on the grill. The TC sold for ten cents in 1970.


Beginning in the early 1970s, Carrols owned and operated the CinemaNational movie theater chain, until their sale to Mid-States Theaters and USA Cinemas in the early and mid-1980s. The theaters were concentrated in central New York State, but there were locations as far away as Wisconsin, Idaho and California. The chain consisted mostly of large single-screen locations that had been purchased from companies like Kallet, Hallmark and Dipson Theaters, along with new locations that were built by Slotnick. CinemaNational also built some triple-screen multiplex locations in sites like the Penn-Can Mall in Cicero, New York, and the Fayetteville Mall in Fayetteville.


  1. 1 2 3 "History". Carrols Restaurant Group, Inc. Retrieved 2008-02-21.
  2. 1 2 "Carrols Restaurant Group - Corporate Profile". Carrols Restaurant Group, Inc. Retrieved 2008-02-21.
  3. 1 2 3 4 "Carrols Restaurant Group 2009 10-K" (PDF). 24 April 2010. pp. 135–140. Retrieved 26 February 2011.
  4. "Marantz residence" (PDF).
  5. Kirst, Sean (6 April 2010). "Remembering Carrols: Serving up a fast-food flashback". Syracuse Post-Standard.
  6. "Restaurant Backers Charge To Public Markets".
  7. Bhattacharjee, Nivedita; Takle, Abhishek (24 February 2011). "Carrols to spin off Taco Cabana". Reuters. Retrieved 26 February 2011.
  8. 1 2 Frumkin, Paul (14 June 2012). "Carrols completes acquisition of 278 Burger King units". Nation's Restaurant News. Retrieved 13 June 2012.

External links

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