What is new at Wendy's? Find out in this interview with their CEO Rob McKay
In this interview with their CEO, Rob McKay, we find out where they are finding growth, and what their long term and short term strategies are.
QSR Media: What is new at Wendys?
Rob: Currently our focus is all about driving sales for our franchisees by making sure our customers have compelling reasons to visit Wendys counters across the country. We recently launched our new Three Wishes ice cream – a Neapolitan-style flavour which, through our partnership with CanTeen, helps to fund support programs for young Australians living with cancer.
We also recently launched a new value menu, with a range of some of our most popular products on offer at attractive “Combo Value” price points. This strategy is about increasing unit sales and empowering our franchisees to increase the value of each sale. It’s also an important reminder for our customers that Wendys has a delicious range of old favourites at affordable prices.
Another new focus within the business has been an investment in expanding some of our core product offerings, such as our hot dogs. Product variations in this area, for example our new Aussie Dog, ensures we’re provding a quality offering in a category we know is a strong performer and it’s proving to be a very successful strategy.
QSR Media: What are your top 3 goals?
- Driving franchisee profitability in a challenging retail environment.
- Continuing to grow and evolve the Wendys brand.
- Gaining further clarity on the future of retailing and how best to proceed to achieve strong results for our franchisees.
QSR Media: Growth markets, where are you finding growth in your business?
Rob: Western Australia and Northern and Central Queensland are certainly the areas where we currently see the most opportunity for growth. However, there are scattered growth areas in markets across the country.
At Wendys, we take an approach that has a greater focus on matching quality locations with passionate and engaged franchisees who will have the energy and drive to make greenfield sites work.
QSR Media: What are some of the trends you are noticing in the industry?
Rob: With the challenging conditions currently facing all retailers, there is certainly a lot of movement happening in shopping centres across the country and we’re seeing a lot of consolidation as businesses start to review their operations and look for efficiencies. We’re seeing retailers having to adapt and be much more flexible in their approach to business given the current level of market uncertainty.
QSR Media: What are your customers asking for?
Rob: Products that deliver in two key areas: value for money and taste and quality. They’re also, as always, seeking new and exciting products but this habit has been further highlighted as consumer discretionary spending continues to hold and, in some cases, decrease.
QSR Media: Any other comments?
Rob: Despite the current challenges, I continue to be encouraged by the results we see at our more successful stores. These stores continue to grow despite the current economic environment.
The common theme with all of these efforts is that when we have franchisees who work closely with Wendys and who are fully engaged with the brand and what it means to consumers, we see results.
At the same time, the Wendys team continues to work closely with all franchisees in an effort to create opportunities for growth and build momentum towards what we expect to be an exciting and successful summer.