Our History

In 1977, at the Arby’s National Convention in Hawaii, Tom Johnson Jr., John Bohlsen, Mike Schulson and Dick Elias were appointed to put together a national purchasing and distribution program along with negotiating contracts on behalf of Arby’s franchisees. The resulting entity was ARCOP, established as a non-profit organization in late 1977. The organization began operation in early 1978 in Youngstown, Ohio.

Forrest Raffel hired Tom McKinnon as a consultant early in the process and he ultimately became the first President of ARCOP in February of 1978. McKinnon worked directly for Leroy Raffel and his job was to run ARCOP’s operations. From 1978 until 1981, the small ARCOP staff labored to set up the purchasing and distribution groups, even while relocating to Atlanta in 1979.

Today, ARCOP’s headquarters are still based in Atlanta. Our team consists of seasoned supply chain and foodservice industry professionals who partner with Arby’s Restaurant Group (ARG)-approved suppliers to mitigate costs and maintain a healthy supply chain for the Arby’s brand. ARCOP now oversees a network of distributors that deliver products to 100 percent of the Arby’s system. The ARCOP President answers to a Board of Directors made up of six franchisees and one company store representative appointed by ARG.

The Arby’s system owes a real debt of gratitude to those original Board members and staff that worked tirelessly to build a purchasing cooperative so successful that other chains have since attempted to duplicate its form and function.