Wendy’s to Expand Delivery to Over a Third of Its Locations by Year’s End
It’s a story we’ve been hearing throughout 2017, and a trend that’s unlikely to slow down anytime soon: Another major restaurant chain is betting big on delivery and expanding its partnership with a well-known delivery service in the process. Burger giant Wendy’s has announced it plans to quickly ramp up its partnership with Door Dash, bringing delivery to 2,500 locations in 48 markets by the end of the year. (That’s less than two months, in case 2017 has been flying by for you.)
With over 6,500 restaurants in the U.S., Wendy’s new delivery push won’t be a complete nationwide rollout—at least not yet—but up until this point, America’s second largest burger chain in terms of sales (it’s in a close battle with Burger King) has only tested delivery near its home base in Central Ohio and Dallas, Texas. According to CEO Todd Penegor, part of the issue isn’t with Wendy’s ambitions, but with where Door Dash currently operates. “We’re working hard to expand access to our brand and our food wherever we can find the right partners,” he said.
But overall, Penegor said the company is “excited” about its prospects for delivery, and beyond simply keeping up with the competition like McDonald’s—which has significantly ramped up its own partnership with UberEats this year—the CEO offered many of the usual reasons for why delivery was the next logical big step for the brand. “We’re seeing some significantly higher average checks,” Penegor said, according to Nation’s Restaurant News. As many restaurants have discovered, people tend to spend more when ordering online for all sorts of reasons like ordering for a larger group or simply because they are less embarrassed about indulging their own gluttony when ordering from the anonymous safety of a computer.
During the same earnings call, the company also pointed to its other high-tech plans, including getting mobile ordering set up at 75 percent of its locations by early 2018 and adding digital kiosks to 200 more locations by the end of 2017. “In 2018, technology needs to play a bigger role in the connection to the customer,” Penegor stated. Between those advancements and delivery, a drive-thru window seems like a relic of the old days when people left their house (but not their car) to grab a burger.