New Wendy’s in Franklin aims to deliver a ‘wow experience’

Photo courtesy of Wendy’s.
Photo courtesy of Wendy’s.

Most folks think of Wendy’s as a place for a quick hamburger, but at a new Wendy’s in Franklin, customers will see a restaurant with flat-screen TVs and a fireplace, not to mention a menu with many more choices than burgers.

“I think it will be a wow experience for customers who visit us in Franklin,” said Ray Arruda, field marketing manager for Ohio-based Wendy’s Co.’s Northeast Division.

Scheduled for Monday, the grand opening in Franklin is part of an initiative to reposition Wendy’s as a bit more upscale, as a place where customers will be more inclined to eat and linger in the dining room. “A Cut Above” is now the chain’s brand position, one consistent with such new menu items as the Spicy Guacamole Chicken Club Sandwich and Berry Almond Chicken Salad, Wendy’s president and chief executive Emil Brolick noted in a recent quarterly earnings press release. “Image activation” is one way the company is describing this initiative.

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Wendy’s, which has about 6,500 restaurants around the world, has about 90 in Eastern and Central Massachusetts and Southern New Hampshire, Arruda said.

The Wendy’s in Franklin will be the first restaurant to be built in Massachusetts to feature one of several new formats the chain is experimenting with. An existing Wendy’s in Marlborough has also just been renovated into the new format, which features fireplaces, flat-screen TVs, and WiFi.

According to a press release, there are only 10 Wendy’s restaurants in the country that have this format so far.

The release included a statement from Ed Rafter, vice president for the chain’s Northeast Division.

“These new restaurants are part of a multi-year strategy to reinvigorate our brand and the way our customers interact with us,” Rafter said. “This brand strategy involves completely re-imaging our entire menu, new advertising and marketing, new restaurant apparel and product packaging. We are making great progress in all of these areas, and we think our customers will be surprised and excited about their new Wendy’s.”