Wendy’s Sues U.S. Franchisee, Tests New Prototypes


DUBLIN, Ohio — Wendy’s Co., which operates 4,609 units in the U.S., has filed a lawsuit, charging trademark infringement and breach of contract, against its largest franchise group, Courtland, N.Y.-based WendPartners Franchise Group, which owns or controls 329 Wendy’s units in 20 states.

The suit charges that the Group has failed to install the specialized equipment required to prepare the brand’s new Dave’s Hot ’n Juicy cheeseburger. Wendy’s argues that going to market with the new burgers missing from a significant portion of its system undermines the proposed Oct. 3 rollout. The Dublin, Ohio-based chain is seeking a declaratory judgment that would compel the franchisees to install the equipment.

Dave’s Hot ’n Juicy cheeseburger is an upgrade to the QSR’s existing line of burgers and features a larger burger, premium ingredients and a butter-toasted bun. Wendy’s claims the new patty is vital to an overall plan to renew growth in the U.S.

Speaking of innovation, during the past three weeks, the chain has opened two of four planned new prototype restaurants in Columbus, Ohio. The new building styles are part of a program that’s expected to translate into a multi-year global initiative.

The feedback is already good. According to QSR magazine, the Columbus location “features clean lines, bright lighting, rich colours and some of the top design concepts in the restaurant and retail industries.” What’s more, the interior features a better view of the kitchen behind the counter and five distinct seating types, including a lounge with a fireplace, booths, two-top tables, high-top tables and a high-top counter with electric outlets to plug in devices.

“We will learn a lot in the coming months,” David Karam, president of Wendy’s, is quoted as saying in QSR. “Frankly, customers told us some of our restaurants are getting dated. They also said they’d like to see our fresh food preparation, and they want more comfort in our dining areas.”

For a complete report on the new prototypes, visit qsrmagazine.com

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