Wendy's Renovating Hundreds of Locations
Updated: Friday, March 1 2013, 08:09 PM EST
COLUMBUS -- Instead of dashing off with your french fries and Frosty when you stop by Wendy's, what about settling in with a fireplace and flat screen TV?
The Dublin-based fast food chain is making such additions in dozens of restaurants, which appears to be good for the customers -- and the chain's bottom line.
Stores across the country are adding fireplaces, lounge-style seating, big windows, and other amenities to make the dining experience more comfortable and inviting.
“It’s soothing and relaxing,” customer Catrina Jagerski of Columbus said of the changes.
District manager Leora Richardson said people typically spend more money when they dine in restaurants as opposed to eating the food elsewhere.
Sales are up about 25 percent at the renovated stores, including the West Broad St. location, where, Richardson said, they have seen increased in-store dining
“We have a group that comes for breakfast, about every morning for coffee, and they stay about an hour and a half while they watch the news and catch up with each other,” Richardson said.
The renovated stores are promoting fresh food and healthy choices, but we put desserts like brownies and cookies first in their line.
“I come here from London instead of stopping by the Wendy’s closer to me," Lorri Gholson said. "It’s a great atmosphere. We like the cookies. I think we buy them because they are near the cash register."
Wendy’s is renovating or re-building around 100 company and 100 franchise stores in the coming year.
The company plans to close about 130 stores across the country that are not making enough money to warrant an upgrade.
Reporter: Lu Ann Stoia
Web Producer: Ken Hines