Wendy's Sues Wendy's Franchisees For Refusing To Cook Up "Hot N Juicy" Burgers

If you’re a fast food mega chain in the midst of an image overhaul, it probably doesn’t help if some of the eateries that bear your name don’t play along. At least that’s what Wendy’s is saying about franchisees who refuse to install equipment necessary for making the company’s newest burger.

Wendy’s is set to launch the Dave’s Hot N Juicy burger — the sandwich that brought out the original Wendy for TV ads in test markets — in October, but the company’s largest franchise group (operating 329 restaurants in 20 states) apparently just won’t install the kitchen hardware needed to make it.

The new burger requires all Wendy’s restaurants to install something called a vertical contact toaster. But after the franchisee — willfully, says Wendy’s — missed the July deadline for getting these devices in place the chain decided to file suit for trademark infringement and breach of contract.

Writes Wendy’s lawyers in its complaint:

As members of Wendy’s largest franchise group, the refusal of the defendants to order and install the required equipment and corresponding inability to serve the new products causes Wendy’s irreparable harm… Furthermore, their refusal to launch the new products is causing, and will continue to cause, irreparable harm to Wendy’s relationship with other franchisees who have complied with the Project Gold Hamburger requirements and who will now question why all franchisees have not been required to comply.

A rep for Wendy’s tells National Restaurant News that the company still plans on launching the Hot N Juicy burger in October. The sandwich is the latest menu upgrade for the chain, which recently overhauled its french fries.

Wendy’s sues franchisees, unveils prototype [NRN.com via Gothamist]