May 17, 2020

Wendy’s new image is working—and veggie burgers are the next step

franchise growth
North America franchising
Frazer Jones
3 min
Wendy's Exterior [Image Credit: Ken Wolter /]
Check out the latest edition of Food Drink & Franchise!

Gone are the days of the Triple Baconator. For the past couple of years, Wendys has been...

Check out the latest edition of Food Drink & Franchise!


Gone are the days of the Triple Baconator. For the past couple of years, Wendy’s has been courting a new image, embodied by the slim fresh-faced spokeswoman in its commercials: instead of competing with larger burger chains like McDonald’s and Burger King, Wendy’s is attempting to put itself in the same category with also evolving better-for-you chains like Chipotle and Panera. It’s a bold strategy—and it appears to be working. According to the chain’s Q1 2015 report, Wendy’s is exceeding financial expectations.

According to Reuters, analysts expected a 2.5 percent rise in same store sales for the fiscal year’s first quarter. Wendy’s beat that expectation solidly; the brand achieved a 3.2 percent same store sales increase overall, with a 2.6 percent increase at company-operated stores and a 3.4 percent increase across franchised locations.

"Our first-quarter results demonstrate continued progress with Wendy's brand transformation," said President and Chief Executive Officer Emil Brolick in a press release announcing the report. "Our Image Activation initiative continues to produce solid results, as reimaged restaurants made a strong contribution to Company-operated same-restaurant sales, primarily as a result of increased customer counts."

Riding the success of this quarter, the brand is pushing forward with further changes, including plans to increase focus by selling off its bakery operations and by selling more of its company-owned stores to franchisees—a move that looks like a smart one to follow through on, considering the sales increase difference on display this quarter between company stores and franchised stores, and a move that competitor McDonald’s seems to be making as well.



"Our previously announced plan to reduce our ownership of Company-operated restaurants also remains on schedule," Brolick added in the pres release. "Given the success of the first phase of our system optimization initiative, we have re-engaged The Cypress Group to assist with the divestiture of the 540 remaining domestic restaurants targeted for sale to franchisees. We also plan to divest our bakery operations, a non-core asset. We believe this divestiture will provide us with greater sourcing flexibility, focus resources on our core restaurant business and eliminate future bakery capital expenditures. We expect the transaction to close in the second quarter of 2015.”  

In addition to operational changes, Wendy’s also seems to be making menu-based changes that will bring the brand closer in line with its desired ring of competition. Earlier this week Wendy’s announced that it has begun testing black bean veggie burgers at select test market locations in Columbus, Ohio. In a time where consumers are hungry for more choices—and more healthy choices, at that—this is one of the smartest moves that Wendy’s could make. It immediately positions itself apart from the majority of burger chains that fail to offer a vegetarian burger option at the moment, and rockets itself to the top of the choice list for many modern consumers.

Wendy’s may not be the #1 burger chain in the world right now, but it’s certainly one to watch over the years to come. 

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Jun 13, 2021

Tyson Foods 2050 net-zero target with no bargain on taste

Helen Adams
3 min
The global protein company, Tyson Foods, has recognised its responsibility to the environment and aims to reduce emissions

Tyson Foods, a leading global protein company, aims to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions across its global operations and supply chain by 2050. 

The company supplies 20% of the USA’s beef, pork and chicken and is best known for products such as Jimmy Dean, Hillshire Farm and BallPark.

As the first U.S.-based protein company to have an emissions reduction target approved by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi), this ambition, in conjunction with the release of the company’s fiscal year 2020 Sustainability Progress Report, underscores the company’s commitment to help combat the urgency of the growing climate change crisis. 


Food giant Tyson will meet net-zero targets

The high level of meat and diary that humans consume is fuelling climate change for many reasons:

  • Gassy cows, sheep and goats are responsible for up to 14% of all greenhouse emissions.
  • 75% of agricultural land across the world is used for animal agriculture. This includes land for the animals to graze upon, as well as the land used for the crops which animals eat to grow in. The amount of land required leads to deforestation.

The move to net-zero is an expansion of Tyson Foods current science-based target of achieving a 30% GHG emissions reduction by 2030, which is aligned with limiting global temperature rise to 2.0c. 

As a global organisation with 239 facilities and 139,000 employees worldwide, achieving net-zero emissions is a large task, which will require a collective effort from every team member, in addition to external stakeholders.

Tyson Foods’ goals include:

  • For emissions to align with limiting global temperature rise to 1.5℃, consistent with the Paris Agreement, by the end of 2023.
  • Expanding the company’s current 5m acre grazing lands target for sustainable beef production practices by 2025.
  • Continuing work to eliminate deforestation risk throughout its global supply chain by 2030.


Tyson foods supports accountability and transparency

“We believe what good food can do for people and the planet is powerful. Our net-zero ambition is another important step in our work toward realising our aspiration to become the most transparent and sustainable food company in the world,” said Donnie King, Tyson Foods President and CEO. 

“At Tyson Foods, we believe progress requires accountability and transparency and we are proud to exemplify that as we work to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050,” said John R. Tyson, Chief Sustainability Officer, Tyson Foods. “As the first U.S.-based protein company in the food and beverage sector to have an emissions reduction target approved by the Science Based Targets initiative, we hope to continue to push the industry as a leader and remain committed to making a positive impact on our planet, with our team members, consumers and customers, and in the communities we serve.”

Tyson Foods’ new ambition, along with the company’s existing sustainability goals, is aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals, which include:

Goal 2: ‘End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture’. 

Goal 15: ‘Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss.’

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