Customer traffic at Wendy’s has been “flat to slightly down” this year, Chief Financial Officer Steve Hare told investors at a conference Wednesday. “I think one of the reasons…is because we’ve been more effective on the premium side than on the value side,” he added.
Wendy’s is in the midst of revitalizing its image and menu, in hopes of becoming viewed as “a cut above” traditional fast food. The chain’s premium burgers, salads and sandwiches also generate higher profit margins and have thus been of greater interest to franchisees.
“We’re so large; we also have to be competitive on the value side of the business,” Mr. Hare said. “And that’s one of the areas where we’ve been inconsistent.”
For 2013, Wendy’s is working with franchisees to come up with a core menu of 99-cent items that every location will offer, and then another grouping of slightly higher-priced signature items and more-filling foods that still represent value.