Wendy’s franchisees have opened the first of the chain’s “Global Next Gen” restaurants, in Oklahoma and Kansas, The Wendy’s Co. announced on Tuesday. Meritage Hospitality Group opened a unit in Edmond, Okla., and Wenspok Companies opened one in Great Bend, Kan. The first company-owned location using the new prototype that was slated to open in New Albany, Ohio, earlier this year, is still under construction, according to a company spokesperson.
In a press release announcing the new restaurants, Wendy’s said the prototype was developed with digital technology in mind and would allow for better order accuracy and speed of service.
New features include a dedicated pick-up window and parking for delivery drivers, who previously needed to enter the restaurants. That window is separate from the regular drive-thru line. The new restaurants also have shelving where customers can pick up their mobile orders. Additionally, the new format has a dual-sided galley kitchen that runs from the front of the house to the back of the house, increasing efficiency by allowing crew members to move easily between stations over the course of the day. Technological enhancements also allow the restaurants to handle more digital orders. More energy efficient lighting and HVAC systems are also part of the new design.
Wendy’s, based in Dublin, Ohio, said the new kitchen increases kitchen capacity by 50% and particularly suited to high-volume restaurants, and that more than 200 restaurants using the new format were slated to open by the end of 2024.
There are around 7,000 Wendy’s restaurants globally.