Friday, November 4, 2011

Wendy’s tests Canadian concept store with digital menu boards

Wendy’s customers in Etobicoke were among the first to try out new menu items in a new, ultra-modern setting as part of the QSR’s testing of four new concept stores in North America.

Wendy’s is testing Redhead Roasters proprietary coffee and fresh baked goods including oatmeal bars, cookies, muffins and brownies alongside a new customer ordering process, digital menu boards, new service staff uniforms and redesigned product packaging.

"This is a very different experience from what Wendy's customers are used to," said Ron Baugh, senior vice president of Wendy's Restaurants of Canada. "Three years of research and feedback from thousands of people are reflected in this exciting new concept store. The changes are more than cosmetic. We've updated our customer experience indoors and out as well."

The new restaurant concept has been designed to deliver more open space, brighter dining rooms with bigger windows and a variety of seating options from booths to high tops to cozy chairs around a fireplace. The new concept is also equipped with free Wi-Fi. Customers can view the baking and prep areas to convey the notion of “fresh.”

Design elements include natural colors, brick and wood materials and bold use of the color red. A bright red center wall celebrates Wendy's heritage with the well-known quote from founder Dave Thomas, "Quality is our recipe," and signage in the new entry way reads, "Welcome to real. Welcome to fresh. Welcome to Wendy's Etobicoke". Each sign in the new stores will be tailored to their home cities.

The company will evaluate the four concepts based on customer feedback and consumer research. A second new concept location is slated to open in Kingston this December.

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