Fast-food addicts soon will no longer be able to answer Gino's call to "go for the food" at its restaurants, because many of the Washington area Gino's will have been converted to Roy Rogers outlets or to other chain restaurants by the end of 1983.
Two local Gino's outlets have already been converted to Roy Rogers' since Marriott Corp., owner of the Western-style chain, acquired Gino's for $48.6 million earlier this year. Of the 62 Gino's in this area, 28 will be converted by Marriott to Roy Rogers'; 20 have been sold to Heublein Corp., which is the franchisor for the Kentucky Fried Chicken products offered by Gino's, and the remaining 14 are for sale.
Nationally, Marriott owns 372 Gino's and 169 Rustler Steak Houses previously owned by Gino's. A total of 180 of those Gino's will become Roy Rogers', 69 will become Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurants and 123 will be sold.
Marriott has estimated that its acquisition of Gino's, designed to give Roy Rogers a leg up in its competition with McDonald's, Burger King, Wendy's and Hardee's, would mean an increase in volume for Roy Rogers of $150 million to $175 million a year.
The Gino's conversions will mean that "Roy Rogers will be No. 1 in Washington, based on the number of stores," according to Francis W. Cash, executive vice president of Roy Rogers operations at Marriott. In Baltimore, Roy Rogers will rank behind McDonald's in the number of outlets and, in Philadelphia, number three behind McDonald's and Burger King, Cash said.
Marriott does not expect the elimination of Gino's restaurants to produce any adverse consumer reactions, a conclusion based on public response to its previous acquisitions and conversions.
"In the Washington area, in 1980, we purchased seven Burger Chef stores and converted them to Roy Rogers' and the reaction in the neighborhood was very positive," Cash said. "All consumers have their own preferences for stores. But on balance, Roy Rogers is a more popular concept than Gino's. It has higher sales and more popularity."
Marriott says it will try to retain most of the 2,000 people Gino's employed at the management level, including shop managers and assistant managers. These employes will either be trained to manage Roy Rogers restaurants, or they will be moved into other divisions of the corporation.
"We will also use these employes to build a reservoir for future expansion, and we'll be transferring them into other divisions like Bob's Big Boy restaurants and the food service management division," Cash said. "We're willing to stockpile them for when we move into other markets. In late '83 and early '84, after we've absorbed Gino's, we would hope Roy Rogers will be moving into other cities in the Sun Belt, in Florida, Texas and California."
Cash added that, among top-level management, four former Gino's officers have left the corporation.
Marriott will make an effort to transfer to Roy Rogers outlets the other 13,000 Gino's employes, which Cash describes as "mostly teen-agers" working by the hour.
Cash said that Marriott will have no problem selling the 14 local Gino's that are not being converted to Roy Rogers'. He said the corporation "could sell them tomorrow," partly because restrictive convenants in this area on new fast food restaurant construction put a high demand on existing outlets.
On the sale of the Gino's outside Washington, Cash said Marriott has talked to "just about every fast food company you can think of." But he added that the corporation will not be selling large blocks of Gino's restaurants to any one company.