In this file:
· Wendy’s Considers Vegan Meat Options
· Wendy's backs full-year profit target after narrow beat, shares rise
· Wendy’s looks to improved operations to build sales
Wendy’s Considers Vegan Meat Options
CEO Todd Penegor says the fast-food chain is “taking a hard look” at plant-based options, a trend he says “is here to stay.”
by Anna Starostinetskaya, VegNews
August 7, 2019
Fast-food chain Wendy’s is considering adding plant-based meat options to its menu, according to CEO Todd Penegor.
Wendy’s held its 2019 second quarter earnings call this week and Penegor explained that the chain aims to compete in the plant-based meat space.
“I’m curious about what your brand insights say about plant-based protein given the impact it has had in the industry and how these fit into Wendy’s higher quality brand positioning?” Andrew Charles—vice president of investment firm Cowen and Company—asked Penegor.
“Clearly there is growth out there in plant-based proteins and we believe that it is a trend that will be here to stay,” Penagor responded. “We’re taking a hard look at what the options would be for us at the restaurant.”
Penegor pointed to a black bean burger that Wendy’s offered several years ago, explaining that its performance varied by location.
“We want to do it the Wendy’s way. Something that is unique to Wendy’s. Our culinary team continues to look at various options. [Plant-based protein] is probably something we need to look at, and will look at, into the future.”
Earlier this year, The Information reported that Impossible Foods’ investor deck revealed that the plant-based company experienced an “influx of interest” from fast-food companies, including Wendy’s...
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Wendy's backs full-year profit target after narrow beat, shares rise
Reporting by Soundarya J in Bengaluru; Editing by Bernard Orr, Sriraj Kalluvila, Reuters
via Yahoo Finance - August 7, 2019
(Reuters) - Wendy's Co <WEN.O> stuck to its full-year profit forecast on Wednesday after edging past analysts' estimates for second quarter in the face of a handful of major marketing investments by some of its biggest rivals, sending its shares 7% higher.
The results come weeks after other established restaurant chains such as McDonald's Corp <MCD.N>, Chipotle Mexican Grill <CMG.N> and Starbucks Corp <SBUX.O> reported solid growth, driven by new menu additions and expanded delivery services.
Wendy's has also revamped its menus, launching the "$5 Biggie Bag combo", expanding its "Made to Crave" menu and adding a parmesan caesar chicken salad to its offering.
"We are pleased with Wendy's performance given McDonald's best U.S. comparable performance since 4Q15," Cowen analyst Andrew Charles said.
Wendy's has also invested in remodeling its restaurants and adding kiosks, while ramping up delivery through a partnership with DoorDash.
More than 80% of the burger chain's U.S. restaurants were covered by the DoorDash service at the end of second quarter, the company said.
These efforts lifted North America same-stores sales growth 1.4% in the quarter, slightly above analysts' average estimate of 1.36%.
Chief Executive Officer Todd Penegor on a post-earnings call said he was also looking at including plant-based proteins in the company's menu.
Meat alternatives from companies such as Beyond Meat Inc <BYND.O> and its competitor Impossible Foods have seen booming demand from consumers and restaurants.
Excluding certain items, Wendy's posted adjusted profit of 18 cents per share in the quarter, beating estimates by 1 cent, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.
The company also reaffirmed...
Wendy’s looks to improved operations to build sales
The chain is working to speed up orders as the company looks to turn around weak traffic.
By Jonathan Maze, Restaurant Business
Aug. 07, 2019
Wendy’s hopes that improving speed and operations will get customers coming back in the long run.
The Dublin, Ohio-based fast-food chain is undertaking an effort to improve operations inside of its restaurants to serve customers more quickly and consistently, in the hopes that such efforts will pull in sales.
“Speed and consistency of experience matter most in delivering our brand promise, and they are getting our full attention,” CEO Todd Penegor said on the company’s second quarter earnings call Wednesday.
Same-store sales at the chain, which has 6,700 locations globally, rose 1.4% in North America in the quarter ended June 30. That was an acceleration from the previous quarter, executives said.
But traffic also declined, company executives said. And Wendy’s didn’t sell as many premium items as it had expected—notably salads, something the company blamed on unusually cold weather in the spring and weaker-than-expected performance of seasonal offerings.
Company executives have better hope for the second half of the year, however, in part because expectations are easier and also because the company has some things coming up that executives believe will pull sales.
That includes its Made to Crave items, which now include chicken sandwiches in addition to burgers.
Wendy’s also is making progress on digital efforts. It has delivery in 80% of its locations, though Penegor acknowledged Wednesday that it has some work to do to build customer awareness that it has the capability.
The company also has mobile ordering in 90% of its U.S. locations, and Penegor said the chain has promotions in place to improve awareness of that capability and improve sales.
“We believe that being successful in digital will be a competitive advantage for us,” he said. “Consumers are craving customization, speed and convenience, all of which can be enhanced through our platforms in our restaurant operating model.”
That puts some pressure on operations. And more chains are focused on speed and operations as more digital sales come into their restaurants. Wendy’s rival McDonald’s, for instance, has held competitions among restaurants and is aggressively adding technology to improve drive-thru speed...