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COLUMBUS, Ohio -- In response to customers' desire for it to replace the "dated" look of its stores, Wendy's is redesigning four test stores to have an "ultra modern" look, according to QSR Magazine.
One of the pilot stores opened in Columbus yesterday, and features bright lighting, rich colors and "some of the top design concepts in the restaurant and retail industries," the report stated. Wendy's is testing a total of four different building styles that it hopes will reinvigorate its brand.
The new pilot stores are "very different from what our customers are used to," Wendy's President David Karam told QSR Magazine. "We will learn a lot from their comments."
Two things customers have asked Wendy's for are the ability to see the food preparation process, and more comfort in the dining areas. According to the magazine, the redesigned stores will aim to solve those problems via a better view of the kitchen behind the counter, a lounge with a fireplace, and two-top and high-top tables with electrical outlets to plug in personal devices.
Bonnie Riggs, restaurant analysts with the NPD Group, said more modern restaurants earn excellent returns on their investments. "You are more likely to have the side item and beverage you may not have if you drive through or carry out," she said. "Customers are looking for value, and value is more than price. It's atmosphere, ambiance, creativity, innovation and food quality, too."
The new Wendy's test store in Columbus not only exhibits major interior change, but the exterior was renovated as well. The store now features a small patio, a digital menuboard in the drive-thru area and a canopy covering the ordering area.
Renovations for the three other pilot building styles will take place in other U.S. cities, as well as one in Canada.