MISSISSAUGA, Ontario, March 29 /PRNewswire/ -- As the competition "dukes it out" over who can mount the biggest kiddie promotion, Arby's is launching an innovative brand positioning campaign to establish itself as the leader in a rapidly emerging industry niche -- adult fast food. The "Adult Truths" system-wide campaign was kicked-off March 5. The cornerstone of the program is TV and radio advertising that utilizes the voice of Patricia Richardson, star of ABC's "Home Improvement." The Arby's commercials, created by Doner Advertising (Southfield, Michigan, USA) utilize sophisticated humor and clever wordplay to position the brand as fast food for today's more discriminating adult tastes. All spots feature the tagline: "Arby's. Now that your tastes have grown-up.(TM)" The new campaign was borne out of more than one year's research with 1,800 heavy fast food users about what it means to be a "grown-up" and how being "grown-up" impacts their fast food dining habits and attitudes. The results of this extensive consumer research have helped to define and validate the core market positioning that Arby's has steadfastly maintained for over 36 years. "Today's generation of baby boomers grew up with fast food, and they're comfortable with the convenience and the cost," said Jon May, CEO of Triarc Restaurant Group (TRG). "But they want more variety and taste, and they want a more sophisticated, relaxing dining experience. At Arby's, we have always marketed to adults, so we're ideally positioned to capture a major segment of today's rapidly growing adult fast food market." The brand's new adult-focused strategy is reflected in every aspect of Arby's marketing, merchandising and in-store operations -- from food quality and choices; to restaurant decor and architecture, POP design and packaging; to a heightened focus on hospitality and service. A comprehensive hospitality program to ensure better service launched in March, and new in-store graphics and tray-liners will debut in May. Part of the new positioning has also been a renewed focus on product development. The brand is looking to expand the breadth of its "adult- oriented" quick-serve menu. Master Chef Anthony Seta was brought on as VP of Menu and Product development to oversee that growth. In 1999, Arby's restaurants in Canada introduced a new line of appetizers that are now available in nearly all of the restaurants across the country and have helped attract new customers to Arby's. The appetizers include Mozzarella Sticks, Jalapeno Bites(R) and Onion Petals that are more regularly seen on the menus of casual dining restaurants. Also in test in several U.S. markets are a line of deli-style sandwiches called "Market Fresh." The company is optimistic about their potential to further broaden the menu. "All of this positive momentum is a culmination of several years of effort upgrading facilities, improving training, and being more aggressive with our marketing activities," says Nancy Cogger, Vice-President and General Manager for Arby's, International. "In Canada, the brand has enjoyed four consecutive years of same-store sales growth, and has increased free-standing unit volumes nearly nine percent during that period." Now that the brand is on a roll, aggressive expansion plans are also in the works. According to Ms. Cogger, Arby's is actively recruiting new franchisees to fill in underdeveloped markets such as Halifax, Toronto and Vancouver. "Our recent successes, and the strength of the adult positioning of the brand make Arby's an attractive investment option for new franchisees and even veteran fast food operators of other concepts who have maxed-out their current territory. This is a very exciting time for us at Arby's, and we're looking forward to continuing on this roll," Cogger said. Triarc Restaurant Group, a subsidiary of Triarc Companies, Inc. (NYSE: TRY), franchises more than 3,200 single- and co-branded restaurants worldwide, including 123 restaurants in Canada and 40 more abroad. Brands under the Triarc Restaurant Group umbrella are Arby's, Pasta Connection(TM) and T.J. Cinnamons(R). Systemwide sales for 1999 were more than $2.2 billion.