Arby's debuts $1 meal

Looking for more dollar options for lunch?

Arby's recently launched a $1 menu featuring the chain's signature items such as oven-roasted, freshly sliced roast beef sandwiches, curly fries and Jamocha shakes. The company said it will refresh the dollar menu periodically to showcase seasonal favorites and other signature offerings.

Shrinking disposable income coupled with an anorexic economy and high unemployment rates have forced many chains to offer customers more value for their dollar. The restaurant industry has been hurt by slim foot traffic as consumers are opting for meals at home. For Arby's, same store sales in the latest quarter slid 11%

"The value menu offers fans an affordable way to get their hands on some of Arby's classics," said Steve Davis, Arby's chief marketing officer, in a release.

Arby's isn't alone launching a value menu. Burger King recently charged up the breakfast market by introducing $1 breakfast sandwiches. The 2010 Restaurant Industry Forecast by the National Restaurant Association predicts that consumers will continue to seek value, convenience and expanded menu options in 2010 – and restaurants will deliver. The same forecast says that the quick service restaurant segment is expected to fare slightly better, a gain of 3% over last year, as diners focus on value and specials.

Arby's national ad campaign trumpeting the value meal made its debut on April 10 during Saturday Night Live. The company is also running the ad on prime time, late night and syndication, during programs such as American Idol, Glee,
Dancing With the Stars, The Celebrity Apprentice, and Two and a Half Men, besides running banner ads across many Yahoo! sites and coveting spots on cable networks such as MTV, ESPN, CMT, Discovery Channel, TLC.