People are convinced the Arby's name is a stealthy code phrase -- here's the truth

  • There is a rumour that Arby’s got its name from the initials of roast beef.
  • The rumour is false.
  • Arby’s is actually named after its founders, the Raffel brothers – the real RBs.

Arby’s has long been subject to rumours about its name.

One of the most popular is that the chain is named after its signature roast-beef sandwich. “Roast beef” becomes “RB” becomes “Arby’s.”

“The chain ‘Arby’s’ is named after the R and B denoting “roast beef…” one person tweeted recently, in response to the prompt, “Name something obvious to most people that you didn’t figure out until recently.”

Logically, the RB theory makes sense. Roast beef is Arby’s best-known sandwich, and it continues to be a top seller for the chain.

But while the Arby’s name is based on initials, it isn’t an abbreviation for roast beef – despite how commonly accepted the theory has become.

Arby’s responded to the tweet: “Most people think that, but our name is actually based on the initials of our founders, the Raffel Brothers.”

The chain has long been attempting to set the record straight on the story behind its name.

“It comes from our founders, Leroy and Forrest Raffel, the Raffel Brothers, or ‘RB,'” the chain says on its website.

Leroy and Forrest Raffel founded Arby’s in Boardman, Ohio. The chain debuted its now-iconic roast-beef sandwich – made with the recipe used today – in 1971.

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.