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Warm Up by the Wendy's Fire
By: Janet Kalandranis
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Or not. Because the fire is actually fake. And the location of this fire is not somewhere that most people actually want to spend time chatting and hanging out. It’s almost like a misplaced fire. One that got lost from a cute romantic Inn and somehow found its way into a fast-food chain. It seems odd, because are consumers really going to want to enjoy a double bacon cheeseburger kazoo alongside a fire? Or are they going to want to take that to go and chow down before anyone sees them? And to rant even more, it seems that fast-food forgot its identity – isn’t it supposed to be fast?

In the world of “quick” food there is fast-food and fast-casual. These are two categories within an industry and it seems that the lines are quickly blurring together. The Panera’s of the world are those fast-casual locations that promote sitting and relaxing and lingering over a meal. But the fact that this type of behavior would occur in a fast-food location seems a bit far-fetched. McDonald’s has already fitted certain McCafé locations with fireplaces, but they’ve also created an extended menu with espresso beverages that just might make this lingering palatable. And Wendy’s is following close behind, implementing gas fireplaces in some of its restaurants in an attempt to modernize the brand. The feeling is that making the Wendy’s spaces more warm and comforting (in tone, not temperature) will help increase sales, since customers will linger longer.

Maybe there was some sort of study that came out that stated fast-food business should add fireplaces. Whoever or whatever prompted this idea clearly had some thought behind it, as this is no small expense for any business. But the logical part of this situation seems a bit off. Shouldn’t fast-food restaurants stay true to their core? Keep inventing and reinventing what they do best instead of encroaching on a different category within the industry? It seems that more success would occur if these brands kept creating and innovating within their world and not in a new world. But maybe fast-food brands will win and that addition of a (fake) fireplace is the key to success.

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About the Author
Janet Kalandranis is here to give you all the little brand thoughts that run through her head with a little dash of spice. Find her online here.
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