Checkers may be the cheapest lunch option around.

As part of their overall national growth plan, Tampa-based fast food chains Rally’s and Checkers will be entering the Philadelphia market for the first time. The company has 900 locations in 32 states, and it is looking to open around 40 locations in the Philadelphia metro area over the next five to ten years. There are currently sixteen locations in Pennsylvania, but they are few and far between. The company wants to become a presence in the City of Brotherly Love. Known for their double drive-throughs, inexpensive menu, and creative takes on burgers and fried chicken, Rally’s and Checkers will bring a piece of my home state, Florida, to Philly.

“We’re not trying to be McDonald’s,” said Bruce Kim, director of franchise development. “We’re not the biggest. We’re not the smallest. But what we do is, we offer great value.… For $5 you can’t get any better-tasting or valuable food than with us.”

Each store would have between 25 and 30 employees, in a mix of full-time and part-time positions. Wages will depend on the competitiveness of the specific market, said Kim. Philadelphia is one of close to a dozen cities the company has zeroed in on for more franchise locations, along with Atlanta, New York, Nashville, Chicago, and Houston.

My personal opinion? (Because I know you want it!) I am only familiar with Checkers, and their food is extremely hit-or-miss. The menu offerings are super greasy, even by fast food standards, and are more than likely to leave your stomach complaining at you if you eat too much. Their fries are superlative. Their burgers are good if you get the ones without too much crap on them. And their funnel-cake fries are THEBOMB.COM.NET.ORG.EDU. Items that I personally would avoid are the chicken fingers and any burgers that have french fries as a topping. But, for $5, you can get a filling lunch.

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