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; cafÃ©-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 fighting 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.”