Photo: By calgaryreviews on Flickr
Wendy’s has been on a tear, snagging the number-two spot in the fast food industry from rival Burger King at the end of last year. Now, only McDonald’s remains on the horizon.And Wendy’s CEO Emil Brolick has some big plans ahead for the red hot chain. He discussed what we can expect from his company in the coming year in an earnings call yesterday.
“The next 3 years are going to be the most intense period of change in the history of the Wendy’s brand,” he said.
These are the three big things that Wendy’s is changing right now:
Wendy’s is rolling out with a new marketing campaign next month
It will succeed its “You know when it’s real” campaign.
Wendy’s tries hard to be everything McDonald’s isn’t in the fast food space, unlike brands like Burger King which compete more directly with it. So a shift in marketing that differentiates Wendy’s even more from its bigger rival can only reinforce the brand’s power.
Brolick declined to go into any specifics about the ads themselves, but he did comment on what he wants the Wendy’s brand to be:
“The fact is that too many consumers don’t have top-of-mind awareness of what makes Wendy’s better and what makes Wendy’s different. We also see a distinct opportunity to create a consistent look, tone and feel for our advertising that will become synonymous with the Wendy’s brand.”
The W will be its big-time item
Wendy’s isn’t going to sit back on the Big Mac vs. Whopper war anymore. Now, it has its own product that wants to assert itself amongst the big flagship burgers.
It’s the W, the new burger that Wendy’s launched at the end of 2011. Here’s what Brolick said about the W:
“We’ve made significant changes in the merchandising as well as in the TV advertising. The spot is much more directly competitive against the Big Mac. Now it never mentions the Big Mac by name,but it’s pretty obvious of what we’re talking about. But it does it in a very nice way. I think it’s a spot that’s very much akin to the kind of the Apple versus PC kind of spot, so you’ll see that.”
Wendy’s has also upped the price on the W from $2.99 to $3.19, and increased the price of the combo by 29 cents.
It’s adding a bunch of new products and going away from its value menu
The Wendy’s menu is about to see a bunch of new products. Coming up is a Spicy Guacamole Chicken Club, a new type of fries (to go along with its current offering) and a new salad, reports Burger Business.
Wendy’s is figuring out the best way to cut some of its value menu items without angering the menu’s fans—likely by migrating people away from it slowly. It’s a risky proposition to go away from its value menu, especially during an economic downturn, but Brolick stresses that it’s necessary:
“If you look at our value menu, and we have what I’ll call 6 centre of the plate proteins on there. McDonald’s has, I think, 2. Well, OK, and you just can’t be that out of balance on there. And quite honestly, I think we’re incurring the food cost for that but I don’t think we’re getting the sales benefit for that.”
Brolick also mentioned some changes with the physical stores, intending to appear as a higher-end fast food chain with new, airier designs.
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