People are convinced the Arby’s name is a stealthy code phrase — here’s the truth


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

Arby’s has long been dogged by rumors 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.”

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But while the Arby’s name is based on initials, it isn’t an abbreviation for roast beef.

“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.