Posts Tagged ‘arby’s’

Healthy Menu Innovations

May 9, 2012

Does the restaurant industry have a responsibility to address health issues when designing a menu?  Perhaps not, however, faced with a growing interest in healthier menu choices among customers, smart companies are making changes.


At least by perception, fast food restaurants are the worst offenders.  In fact, research shows that 60% of American’s are less than thrilled with their lunch choices.  Often the culprit is limited time.  This is a market to be tapped by forward thinking chains.


Arby’s now offers a Market Fresh Pecan Chicken Salad Sandwich and wrap.  This can be nutritionally improved by selecting whole-grain flat bread or honey wheat bread.  McDonald’s has made apples standard in their kid’s meals.  KFC even started serving roasted chicken rather than fried.


Often the solution is simple portion control.  When diners eat at upscale restaurants, they don’t expect large portions, they expect quality.  By offering smaller meals under more appealing labels, fast food restaurants may appeal to those who would prefer more nutritious options.


Of course, no matter how many options fast food restaurants provide, most customers will still choose foods they know are not healthy.  Lower salt and fat requirements mandated by the government is unlikely to make much of a difference.  The British Medical Journal showed that only one in six diners pay any attention to posted calorie and fat stats on menus.


Salt is the newest target to face criticism at restaurants.  As the flavor of salt is difficult to mimic, reduction of salt may be particularly hard to achieve, but the industry seems committed to make the change by offering selections lower in sodium.


Moe’s Southwest Grill is leading the movement and began using KCLean, a salt substitute, more than a year ago.  This product only contains 50% of the sodium found in regular salt.  The change was made with no publicity and there have been no complaints.  Other well known chains are now following suit.

Wendy’s Company Gets a “New” CEO

October 13, 2011

Wendy’s recently brought on new President and CEO Emil Brolick. Coming into the position on September 21st, he will receive training and advisement for the rest of the year from outgoing CEO Roland Smith.


Brolick is not exactly new to Wendy’s. He worked on the company’s national marketing plan in the 80s – a plan that fueled 16 consecutive years of same-store sales growth for the chain. His most recent accomplishment is helping turn Taco Bell stores around and provide more same-store sales growth for that franchise.


What’s Going On with Wendy’s?


But a new CEO at the helm isn’t the only major change going on at Wendy’s, says Wendy’s Company chairman Nelson Peltz. Brolic recently told the media that the fast-food restaurant will be re-engineering the core menu (among other things) now that it has sold Arby’s. The plan is to concentrate as much as possible on Wendy’s success.


A CEO Who Carries a Vision


Brolick worked with the Wendy’s team for 12 years, leaving in 2000 to join Yum!Brands. He also did a stint as President of A&W All American Foods and Long John Silver’s.


More importantly, however, was his association at Wendy’s in the last days of the 20th century. Brolick worked closely with founder Dave Thomas to provide strong consumer insights that helped strengthen and fortify the Wendy’s brand.


“Wendy’s is one of the most attractive growth stories in the quick-service restaurant industry,” said Brolic recently. “I am excited to be rejoining the company at such an important point…We will focus on building significant value for all stake holders.”


More than Just Burgers


Brolick’s history of success also includes a Taco Bell turnaround. As its President and Chief Concept Officer, Brolick lead the chain through five years of same-store sales and profit growth.


But Wendy’s new CEO isn’t just about food and profit. He is also Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Boys & Girls Clubs of America.


Outgoing CEO Smith says he looks forward to supporting Smith as Brolick continues to grow Wendy’s sales. The former Wendy’s CEO is stepping down to spend more time with his family in Georgia, he said.