Fast food fans may soon be able to enjoy a meal at Wendy’s while lounging in a comfy chair beside a roaring fireplace. The experience is part of a planned revamp of the chain’s interior decor that looks to make its restaurants more inviting to customers.
Eighty of the chain’s locations are now sporting the new look, with an additional 200 remodels planned across North America this year. The style change is part of Wendy’s efforts to update its 43-year-old brand image.
According to an article by Bloomberg, the new decor seeks to invite customers to relax and enjoy their meal in a cozy environment.
Designed by the San Francisco firm Tesser, the new interior design sports lounge-style, faux leather chairs nestled beside a homey fireplace.
Tré Musco, chief executive of Tesser, explains:
“The hearth at home is a gathering place. It’s warm, it’s comfortable, it says stay and relax, as opposed to, this is fast food, get in and get out as quickly as possible.”
The Los Angeles Times writes that several fast food brands have begun to incorporate the use of fireplaces to update the atmosphere of restaurant locations.
Two years ago, McDonald’s added fireplaces, armchairs, and plasma televisions to 1,400 Canadian locations in an overhaul that cost a reported $1 billion. In previous years, competitors such as Jack in the Box and Subway have also included fireplaces in the design of certain restaurants.
The motive behind a cozier atmosphere is to entice customers to spend more time eating inside the restaurant. According to Denny Lynch, a spokesperson for Wendy’s, consumers have a tendency to spend slightly less when using the drive thru or ordering take-out.
The change in atmosphere seems to be working. Wendy’s has reportedly seen a 25 percent sales increase in its newly remodeled locations.
The chain’s remodeling plans reportedly extend through 2015. By the end of that time, Wendy’s expects the new fireplace setting to be included in 600 of its locations across the United States.