In its quest to keep up with — perhaps even lead — the pace of change in North American foodservice, Wendy’s has unveiled its “Global Next Gen” restaurant of the future.
The prototype will see its traditional units adapted to incorporate several amendments which reflect the significant evolution of the quick-service restaurant industry in the last few years. These will include not just a window specifically for delivery pickup, whereby delivery drivers can grab orders and go without having to enter the dining room, but also mobile order parking spaces to remove those customers from the largest takeout flow of traffic and in-store shelving for digital orders.
Guests will select a pickup time upon placing a mobile order, park in a designated spot when they arrive, and take their meal off the mobile order pickup shelving.
The idea is to create a restaurant that is equipped to deal with streamlined omnichannel ordering in the foodservice climate of 2022, where customers want to be able to order whatever they want, whenever they want, from wherever they want, however they want.
“To accelerate our business and expand our footprint across the globe, we must consistently meet the needs of our customers however they chose to engage with Wendy’s, whether that’s through a digital platform or in the drive-thru,” Wendy’s president and CEO Todd Penegor said in a statement. “Global Next Gen enhances the customer experience across ordering channels and streamlines operations for our crew, all while creating better returns for franchisees.”
A new restaurant kitchen layout will host a galley-style kitchen running from the front of the store to the back with the aim of offering increased oversight and flexibility of working operations. The stores will also feature more efficient HVAC and lighting and unspecified “behind-the-scenes” technology to increase digital capacity.
This design, which Wendy’s says will reduce investment costs by 10 per cent and energy costs by six per cent annually, will become the standard build for traditional units, with the chain planning to open its first Global Next Gen restaurant in Ohio next spring.
Meanwhile, it’s not just in restaurant design that Wendy’s is looking to innovate.
The chain has recently amended its breakfast options, which it recently launched across Canada, to add a sweet option in the form of French toast sticks.