Friday, April 25, 2008

Arby's Has New Sister-Wendy

Triar Co., parent company of fast food chain Arby's, bought mega-chain Wendy's International, the hamburger chain which was founded by Dave Thomas. The new management has big plans for expansion which includes increasing Wendy's international exposure, as well as broadening the menu selection to include breakfast at US locations. Also, new marketing plans are in the works to position the Wendy's brand towards a new target market of older clientele. Marketing to this new audienc would certainly be a novel approach to gaining market share in the fast food industry compared to strategies of heavyweight McDonalds, which dominates the children market, along with Burger King targeting a young-adult audience.

While Triar seems confident that implementing these few marketing changes will fix the corporation's problems, shareholders remain skeptical. In fact, shareholdrs claim that these same marketing proposals have been suggested in the past, but proved ineffective in saving the company, leaving one to ask: Why would this time be different?

New CEO, Ronald Smith, acknowledges that the restaurant industry is currently a difficult playing field and asserts that Wendy's needs to focus on differentiating itself from top dogs, like McDonalds and Burger King. How would adding a breakfast menu help distinguish Wendy's from other fast food restaurants? Such a change would resemble competitor business, making it less likely for Wendy's to stand out amongst the crowd. Smith's goal is to emphasize the quality and freshness of the food, but is this really enough to turn the company around?

[Adamy, Janet. "After Two Years, Peltz Finally Makes A Deal For Wendy's." The Wall Street Journal 25 Apr. 2008: B1. 25 May 2008 . ]

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