PDT Staff Writer
The big new Wendy’s sign at the Wheelersburg restaurant visible now from U.S. 52 reads - “Quality is our recipe.”
“That’s a quote from (founder) Dave Thomas,” Schmidt’s Family Restaurant Group President Scott Schmidt said. “From the day Wendy’s was founded, his vision, he never wanted to call it a fast food restaurant. He wanted to call it fast service restaurant. Quality was never an issue in those early years, and with him being a former Kentucky Fried Chicken franchisee, having a personal relationship with Col. (Harlan) Sanders, quality was always an issue there. First and foremost there was always the standard. He always preached back in the early years, and it has continued today, that quality is our recipe.”
Wendy’s revealed the new look and redesign of it’s 316 Center Street, Wheelersburg store Monday morning.
“Wendy’s just wanted to reinvent themselves and to take the next step forward,” Schmidt said. “We don’t want to call it a futuristic restaurant, but, at the same time we have a lot of new pieces of equipment back there that are going to increase our service speed and quality that we keep practicing. We’ve created a softer atmosphere. This restaurant is very open versus that crowded experience you get with a lot of fast food restaurants. We wanted it to be much more open.”
Schmidt said the ceiling was raised to 15 feet and 12 feet was added to the front of the restaurant, taking it out closer to the street. Stacie Staker, Director of Marketing for the Schmidt Family Restaurant Group, said the extension of the restaurant has already given them more visibility with a sign that is visible in most parts of Wheelersburg, and an entrance that is easier to locate.
In addition to a new iced coffee line and the pretzel Pub chicken sandwich, Wendy’s has added the Berry Almond chicken salad.
“We’re one of the few franchisees that has this style of store right now,” Schmidt said. “It won’t say it’s a test - it’s too expensive to be a test - but they have already taken things that we’ve seen here in this restaurant, and are going to keep fine tuning this design. It’s called Image Activation and Wendy’s calls it the Adoption Program, but I am one of the few franchisees that have been picked to actually put this restaurant in.”
The general manager of the Wheelersburg location, Terri Burris, has been with the company for 20 years and is impressed with the new design.
“It’s awesome,” Burris said. “I’m excited. I’m excited for the town. I’m excited for the people. I’m excited for our customers. It’s amazing. I think the expansion is definitely going to help with the noticeability because you can see the restaurant as you are coming into town. I think it’s going to help us.”
In 2013, Wendy’s says thy intend to re-image at least 100 company and 100 franchise restaurants in North America.
Frank Lewis may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 252, or at firstname.lastname@example.org. For breaking news, follow Frank on Twitter @FrankLewisPDT.