The Wendy’s Co. heads into the New Year with four different restaurant prototypes under test, each of which aims to increase traffic, improve guest and employee interaction and showcase new menu items like breakfast offerings and the Redhead Roasters coffee line.
Nation’s Restaurant News visited the Wendy’s “Ultra Modern” prototype in Columbus, Ohio, which sits a few miles from the burger chain’s corporate headquarters.
Several facets of the Columbus location aimed to improve the customer experience as well as increase throughput and open Wendy’s up to new dayparts. A fast-casual-style ordering queue replaces the old serpentine line before the cash register, while the prototype’s baked-goods case sells some breakfast items all day to build morning and snack sales. The Redhead Roasters line of coffee is also in play at the new prototypes, as are digital signage and menu boards, a Coca-Cola Freestyle beverage fountain, varied seating, and a “Wi-Fi bar.”
Denny Lynch, Wendy’s senior vice president of communications, said increased traffic in the dining rooms and longer average stays for customers at the new prototype helps managers interact with guests, giving the brand more chances to learn what works.
He said the company would continually evaluate features of the Ultra Modern prototype in Columbus and Ontario, Canada, as well as the “Urban” design in Phoenix, “Contemporary” prototype in Pittsburgh, and “Traditional” unit in Virginia Beach, Va.
Lynch explains more of Wendy’s strategy behind the new prototype:
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