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Oct 5 - Wendy's Testing "Ultra Modern" Redesign With Digital Menu Boards & Fireplaces (pics)

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 Oct 5 - Wendy's Testing "Ultra Modern" Redesign With Digital Menu Boards & Fireplaces (pics)
Unread 4 years agoclass of '10 - on now - #1
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Wendy's Testing "Ultra Modern" Redesign With Digital Menu Boards & Fireplaces

In the last year, Wendy's has attempted to upgrade its menu items — skin-on fries with sea salt, real lemonade, better bacon for your burger — so now the fast food mega chain is looking to possibly overhaul its image with a restaurant redesign.

The folks at QSRweb.com got a chance to check out a prototype Wendy's — one of four tests the company plans to run — in Columbus, OH, that has ditched the chain's traditional burger shack look completely.

In addition to the overall updating of the outside architecture, this prototype includes:
Varied seating. High-top, bar-style seating; café-style booths; and cozy chairs surrounding a fireplace.
A new way to line up. "I believe this is the first or one of the first QSRs to feature this line style," a Wendy's rep tells QSRweb. "where guests are lined up on one of the walls, not in a big space in front of the registers. Think of it as similar to Chipotle. People are lined up in a polite way, they're more relaxed and they're not in a big bunch f!ghting for a spot at the register."
More behind the scenes transparency. In addition to what you'd normally see of a Wendy's kitchen this prototype allows customers to see into the baking and prep areas, including where the fresh produce is kept.
Digital menu boards. Fully digital menu boards at both the counter and the drive-thru.

In addition to the aesthetic changes, this prototype is testing new food offerings like Redhead Roasters coffee, smoothies and baked goods such as cookies and muffins.

"We've done extensive research on what our consumers want on our menu to help us understand what we're doing well and what we can be doing better," says a Wendy's rep. "With these four design concepts, we will do the same. This is our roadmap - asking our customers to really be open and honest with us and to track clear, concise data on what they want."


Read more:Wendy's Testing "Ultra Modern" Redesign With Digital Menu Boards & Fireplaces - The Consumerist


Phoenix Wendy's showcases new 'Urban Design'

There are changes coming to Wendy's restaurants and the Ohio-based fast food company is rolling out many of them in the metro Phoenix market.

"Phoenix is home to our Western regional office," said Jeanie Hornia, field-marketing manager for Wendy's International Inc., based in Dublin, Ohio "You have all the necessary executive members here who can oversee a major project like this."

After surveying thousands of customers about the atmosphere at the restaurants, the chain is launching a major redesign. Of 6,600 stores, the first chosen to feature the "Urban Design" outside of Dublin is in northeast Phoenix.

slideshow PHOTOS: Redesigned Wendy's in Phoenix

The burger chain plans to launch another redesign concept at the end of the month in the West Valley.

"We do a lot of analysis. It's important in what we do, so we can measure the return on all investments we make," said Hornia, whose market includes Arizona. "Phoenix is a huge testing ground for product development and everything else."

The store, outside of Paradise Valley Mall, at Tatum Boulevard and Cactus Road, reopened on Friday. Hornia believes that it was chosen because of its central location in the Valley.

Sarah Beth Hock and Stephanie Brimhall, students at Arizona Christian University in northeast Phoenix, stopped by the new restaurant after receiving a Wendy's coupon.

The students sat at a high table near the fireplace enjoying Frostys and burgers.

"It's more cozy. It feels warmer here," said Hock, a Gilbert resident.

Brimhall of Queen Creek hadn't been to Wendy's since starting school, but said she would return to the Paradise Mall restaurant.

"I can taste more cheese," she said of the revamped burger sandwich that now includes two slices of cheese. And the redesign "makes you feel like staying to sit on the sofa to have a little chat."

The shop redesign includes larger windows and multiple seating options, from booths and high tables to a lounge area. A flat-screen TV, digital fireplace and Wi-Fi are part of the Urban Design.

"Let's be frank here, many of our restaurants were looking a little dated," Hornia said.

Wendy's marketers knew the number of people visiting casual restaurants had declined since the recession. The company hopes to attract those diners by creating an environment that makes them see Wendy's as a place to come in and stay, not just a drive-through.

"When you look at spending levels, a lot of people have probably become frugal in this economy. I think in this economy it can also present opportunities to some brands that would like to take a larger portion of that pie, market share," Hornia said.

Wendy's is trying to f!ght off the competition. According to the research firm Technomic, McDonald's continues to dominate nearly 50 percent of the fast-food burger market. Wendy's is below 13 percent.

Smaller burger chains are expanding quickly. Wisconsin-based Culver's opened two restaurants in northeast Phoenix during the summer and Five Guys is expanding rapidly across the Valley. The Virginia-based chain opened in Arcadia during the summer and plans to open one north of downtown Phoenix before the end of the year.

"I believe that competition will always play a key factor in our business. You have to be aware of what your competition is doing," Hornia said.

The Wendy's menu also experienced a makeover. After 42 years, the chain debuted a new burger in September. Dave's Hot 'N Juicy burger, named after late Wendy's founder Dave Thomas, comes with a thicker patty, an extra slice of cheese, crinkled pickles and red onions.

The restaurant expanded its coffee options, introduced breakfast pastries and installed a Coca-Cola Freestyle soda machine, which has a touch screen that lets customers sort through more than 120 drink options.

"Wendy's is really committed to presenting a value menu and many brands have followed suit right after that," Hornia said. "Looking at the economy, we've been able to give customers the best value product in a great atmosphere that doesn't feel like 'value.' "

A day before reopening, the Paradise Valley Mall Wendy's hosted a preview for customers to see the new and taste the new food. Hornia said hundreds of people attended and the response was overwhelmingly positive. But that does not mean that these changes are guaranteed to be permanent.

"I've seen lots of tests that have come and gone. You never hear of them again. With the remodel, they're looking at our consumers and how they react to them," she said.

Hornia said Wendy's will continue to be dedicated to drawing more customers.

"We want to be another version of full-dining eating," Hornia said. "On the higher top of the spectrum, there's been great demand for those value concepts that don't feel cheap. It's really in response to our consumers."


Read more: Phoenix Wendy's showcases new 'Urban Design'


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MORE PICS:
Redesigned Wendy's in Phoenix - azcentral.com photos
Restaurant Pictures, Photos, Images | QSRweb.com
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Props given to Rick Ross hot topic  (10-05-2011)

51 comments for "Oct 5 - Wendy's Testing "Ultra Modern" Redesign With Digital Menu Boards & Fireplaces (pics)"

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Unread 4 years agoclass of '10 - away - #2
eightytyson06 38 heat pts38 space
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so basically they doing what McDonald's are starting to do
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Unread 4 years agoclass of '05 - away - #3
Based_One 62 heat pts62 space
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Don't y'all hate going to McDonald's or Wendy's on round the first of the month sh*t be like a zoo
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Unread 4 years agoclass of '10 - on now - #4
Rick Ross 182 heat pts182 space
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Mil_Town_G said:
Don't y'all hate going to McDonald's or Wendy's on round the first of the month sh*t be like a zoo
i don't go to either - i'm not a fatass
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Unread 4 years agoclass of '07 - away - #5
Ham Rove 2599 heat pts2599 space
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Rick Ross said:
i don't go to either - i'm not a fatass
yet your name is rick ross.
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Unread 4 years agoclass of '04 - away - #6
ruff 6 heat pts space
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minimafia_aj said:
yet your name is rick ross.
:doglaugh: :doglaugh: :doglaugh: :doglaugh: :doglaugh: :doglaugh: :doglaugh: :doglaugh:
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Unread 4 years agoclass of '10 - away - #7
5K Studios 4 heat pts space
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Forty Five South
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Who goes to Wendy's anymore?
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Unread 4 years agoclass of '10 - on now - #8
Rick Ross 182 heat pts182 space
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minimafia_aj said:
yet your name is rick ross.

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Unread 4 years agoclass of '07 - away - #9
Grave 2 heat pts space
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Oh sh*t, ill go wendys for the second time if the one around here gets that soda machine. The machine makes all the flavors for ur a.ss
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Unread 4 years agoclass of '07 - away - #10
Ham Rove 2599 heat pts2599 space
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Wendys is the only fast food restaurant i really like.

those new dave thomas burgers are good lol
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Unread 4 years agoclass of '05 - away - #11
Rockobox 76 heat pts76 space
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Unread 4 years agoclass of '08 - away - #12
Jsinn23 49 heat pts49 space
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dopeness
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Unread 4 years agoclass of '05 - on now - #13
kriskross00 76 heat pts76 space
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minimafia_aj said:
yet your name is rick ross.
freeway ricky isnt fat...and even if ur thinkin of officer ricky wuts that gotta do wit him bein a fatass?
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Unread 4 years agoclass of '04 - away - #14
LightWeight 2 heat pts space
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jr bacons all day......thats good tho...prolly makes changein the signs or prices easier for the employees.......ahaha...
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Unread 4 years agoclass of '07 - away - #15
Rhyme n Tekniq 1 heat pts space
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It looks like they are going with that 1960's "The house of Tomorrow" look

Anybody that ever watch the Tex Avery Shorts from back in the day know what i'm talking about
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Unread 4 years agoclass of '04 - away - #16
LightsOut 19 heat pts19 space
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Wendy's is the only place that still reminds me of the 90s...dim lighting, woodgrain, old school menu boards...don't change that, it's one of the only things I have left from my childhood
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Unread 4 years agoclass of '05 - on now - #17
DanBootleg 129 heat pts129 space
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Oh hey McDonalds called they want their brand positioning strategy from 5 years ago back. InB4 they revamp their breakfast line and put a focus on premium coffee.
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Unread 4 years agoclass of '06 - away - #18
Aesop1 2 heat pts space
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they wont have this in the hood
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Unread 4 years agoclass of '04 - away - #19
ddash 1 heat pts space
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Wait til n*ggas get in that bi*ch ahahahahahaha.

n*ggas gon be taking first dates there and having after parties there lol.

But seriously Wendys new meat and burgers are disgusting.
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Unread 4 years agoclass of '08 - away - #20
Dee Grande 966 heat pts966 space
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how about they test not taking sh*t off the value menu every week
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