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Wendy’s Readies Redhead Roasters

Wendy’s North America systemwide same-store sales increased 2.3% in the second quarter, ended July 3, 2011, President-CEO Roland Smith reported this morning. Average check increased 1.4% in the quarter; transactions rose 0.9%. 

Now free of Arby’s drag, The Wendy’s Co. appears energized about strengthening the Wendy’s brand. Most of what was discussed on today’s analyst call—coffee, breakfast, burgers, chicken, remodeling—covered territory discussed in the March call, however. The biggest news was “Redhead Roasters,” the name for the upgraded coffee platform Wendy’s is adding to the menu in tandem with breakfast. A new Iced Coffee will be on the menu soon as the first manifestation of the upgrade. 

The company’s challenge now is to get all its franchisees to share its excitement about future opportunities. The Wendy’s Co. reportedly has filed suit against one franchisee for failing to make the needed investments (about $20,000 per store in grill enhancements) for the October national introduction of the Dave’s Hot ’n Juicy Cheeseburgers line, which has provided a sales boost in test. 

To ensure operator buy-in with next year’s breakfast rollout, Wendy’s is offering low-cost loans to help with the $25,000 per-unit investment (new toasters and such). The company has promised to have 1,000 units—including 600 franchised stores—offering breakfast by year-end. To help reach that, Wendy’s Co. is offering “early adopters” a partial deferral of royalty payments that can be used to fund local breakfast advertising. 

Wendy’s in Manhattan will add breakfast this quarter, Smith promised. Wendy’s intends to test baked goods such as muffins, sweet rolls and bagels for the breakfast menu, which Smith once again forecast will add $150,000 per store in sales.

The company repeated plans to introduce the “Gold Chicken” upgrade program for that menu category in 2012. This includes the Bruschetta Chicken sandwich (at left) topped with tomatoes, chopped basil and “balsamic glaze” that has been testing this year.

11 comments to Wendy’s Readies Redhead Roasters

  • Justin ST

    Management seems good and ready to ruin this company. Dave is rolling in his grave.

  • I thought the Bruschetta Chicken was a winner when I tried it in SLC. Was nice to finally get a chicken sandwich with something besides mayo on it.

  • Jeff

    The coffee is better than starbucks. I had a free one in NYC today and was blown away.

  • CoffeeSnob

    I’m with Jeff. It’s really…good. It isn’t *quite* Tim Horton’s good, but it’s better than most other lower-price-point drip; by no means artisan, but with a flavor profile that will go nicely with a salty bacon eggy cheesy breakfast thing. Highlight of my morning in NYC, though admittedly I was only there for two hours this morning before coming home.

  • nickmyself

    I told some of their think tank years ago Tim Horton was dishwater and that they had no business buying a coffee business if Wendy’s had the worst coffee in the hamburger world.That I dumped out my coffee last time I was there.They were stunned by my comment and asked where my Wendy’s was .My local Wendy’s got a coffee called Premium Blend after that and it was very good .They just started selling $16. hamburgers in Japan today ,topped with exotic things like Foie Gras and Avocado Wasabi,plus Truffle and Porcini Grilled Chicken sandwiches.

  • mocha lover

    Tried new Wendy’s coffee (Mocha) in Louisiana. It was great. Definitely NOT what I expected. Unfortunately, I live in Tx and we do not have the coffee here. Hope it will be as good as the one I had in Louisiana.

  • redhead loves it!!

    I absolutely LOVE Wendy’s everything. Always have. This new coffee is so delicious, I will likely never go to Starbuck’s again! Love it. Had the Artisan Breakfast sandwich and it was also delicious! Fantastic!!

  • Marilyn

    Love Wendy’s coffee!!! Best coffee we’ve ever had!! Because of the coffee we’re trying other menu items as well! Good job!!

  • Sarah Valero

    I gotta know what coffee they are using because its the coffee of the gods O_o I am on a search for this heavenly coffee bean omg sooo good

  • Phil Kessel

    I agree with Sarah. I would like to know what beans Wendy’s uses in Reno. we live in Truckee where there is no Wendy’s and have to make it ourselves.

  • Annette Broyles

    I love the lemongrass green tea. Would like to buy it for home use.

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