- Mark Fisher Staff Writer
A Wendy’s restaurant in Kettering reopened last week following an extensive makeover, and the franchise owner of dozens of Dayton-area Wendy’s says many more such projects are on the horizon throughout the region.
“We plan to remodel a total of 18 locations over the next several years,” Kevin Morris, director of operations for MUY! Hamburger Partners, the franchise group that operates 31 Wendy’s restaurants across the Miami Valley, and another 41 in the Cincinnati region.
The renovation of the restaurant at 4003 Wilmington Pike at East Stroop Road is the franchisee’s fourth such project, following makeovers of restaurants in Troy, New Carlisle and Harrison Twp., Morris said.
The rebuilding projects reflect a nationwide trend as aging fast-food eateries seek to gain a competitive edge.
The Wendy’s remodels are part of a broader “brand transformation” to a new logo and signage launched in 2013. The fast-food chain’s new prototype stores also feature digital menu boards, flat-screen televisions, fireplaces and Wi-Fi. Company officials have said the company’s re-designed restaurants sell more food, with higher check averages and customer counts.
Several other fast-food chains are making similar investments, renovating and in some cases razing and rebuilding their aging restaurants. McDonald’s did just that with a restaurant on East Stroop Road just around the corner from the renovated Wendy’s restaurant.
Many of those existing restaurants are three or four decades old. They’re not energy efficient, and their layouts hinder effective customer service, especially in the increasingly important drive-through windows. In other cases, fast-food chains are seeking to enhance customers’ dining-room experience or update their brands.
At the Kettering Wendy’s, “We updated the dining room to be more comfortable for our guests, with a much more modern décor,” Morris said. “The dining area now has a combination of high top seating along with traditional tables and booths. There are now two televisions in the dining room as well.
“We installed a Freestyle Coke machine that the guest now how access to self-serve. A significant amount of remodeling was done on the exterior of the building as well.”
MUY! Hamburger Partners has not identified the next four remodeling sites or a timetable for their completion. Morris said the projects are contingent on approval of plans submitted to local building and zoning officials.