Foodservice Equipment Reports

Wendy’s Rolls The Dice For 2014

The Wendy’s Co. is feeling bullish on 2014. Not only does it plan to boost same-store sales, the Dublin, Ohio, chain says it will accelerate its Image Activation remodeling program and complete its refranchising initiative.

In a presentation to investors, Wendy’s CEO Emil Brolick says the company will double the number of remodeled restaurants in its 6,558-unit system from 300 locations at the end of ’13 to between 700-750 units by the end of this year, or about 12% of the stores in North America.

That means stepping up the pace of its Image Activation remodeling effort. Wendy’s expects to remodel 200 restaurants, up from 100 last year, while franchisees are expected to re-image between 150 and 200 locations, up from 99 remodels in ’13.

As for new-unit openings, the chain projects 15 new company-owned stores, compared with 26 in ’13; franchisees project 45 new locations, compared with 11 last year.

Brolick added that the company was “ahead of schedule” on the refranchising effort involving the sale of 415 company-owned restaurants back to franchisees. As of the end of 2013, 384 of those restaurants already were sold or under contract, and buyers have been identified for the remaining 31 locations. The agreements include commitments to remodel 180 units and build 100 more new units with its ultra-modern prototype design.

Company-owned comparable sales were up 1.9% for 2013, following a 1.6% gain in ’12. Wendy’s is forecasting that company-owned same-store sales growth will rise to a systemwide range between 2.5%-3.5%.

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