Foodservice Equipment Reports

Wendy’s Tests New Store Designs, Names Brolick President/CEO

Wendy’s execs didn’t have much time for August vacations. The chain has been busy, moving its headquarters back in Dublin, Ohio, naming a new president, and testing four new restaurant designs in four American cities. Two new units in nearby Columbus are among the prototypes. "These new remodels are part of a multi-year strategy to reinvigorate our brand and the way our customers interact with us," according to David Karam, president-North America. All four building styles were designed by Tesser, a San Francisco-based brand strategy and retail design firm.

Through nationwide research, Wendy’s discovered from customers that some of its restaurants were getting dated, Karam said. "They also said they'd like to see our fresh food preparation and they want more comfort in our dining areas."

The sleek, modern prototype’s new interior has open dining areas, and provides customers with a better view of food prep behind the counter. Its multiple seating options include booths, two-top and high-top tables, and a lounge with fireplace. The restaurant has a new customer ordering process, refrigerated display cases for bottled beverages and baked goods, digital menu boards, and a few test products only offered in the test restaurants. Beverage service includes coffee made with fresh-roasted beans and Coca-Cola Freestyle machines which dispense 129 beverage varieties.

Also new at the 6,500-unit chain is Emil Brolick, who has returned to The Wendy’s Co. as president and CEO. He succeeds Roland Smith, who remains a senior advisor and board member. Brolick knows the company well; he worked there 12 years and was senior v.p. under founder Dave Thomas. He rejoins the company after 11 years with Yum! Brands, where he was COO, and most recently, president of A&W All American Foods and Long John Silver's. While at Yum!, Brolick also served as president of U.S. brand building and as Taco Bell's president and chief concept officer.

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