Wendy's Customers Accustomed To The Old Look Are In For A Surprise.

Friday, March 14, 2014

The redesigned Wendy's on Eglin Parkway at Hughes Street reopened Friday morning, and customers accustomed to the old look are in for a surprise.

Wendy's was closed for about five weeks while the building underwent and extensive renovation inside and out. "It's everything we hoped it would be," said Roger Webb, owner of Wendco Corp., the local franchise company that owns 39 restaurants in Northwest Florida and southern Alabama. "I"ôve been to some of the other remodels that have been done and it's just a completely different feel. It's just a much more comfortable feel. It's a different package.

"We wanted to make it much more friendly, open, modern," Webb added.

The new design features a much more contemporary exterior, with a red blade feature in front and an upgraded drive-through window.

The interior has a more open and bright dining area. There also are different types of seating, including a more comfortable, relaxed section in front of a large artificial fireplace feature.

The kitchen also has been upgraded with new equipment to help prepare food faster and keep it fresher. The new equipment also accommodates the expanded menu items Wendy's restaurants have offered in recent years.

"We"ôve got a lot more menu items that we"ôre working with, so we"ôve got to have a much different layout in the back than we did before," Webb said.

Although the Eglin Parkway Wendy's is the first one in the region to receive the overhaul, it won"ôt be the last. Webb said he was working on plans to renovate eight other restaurants within the next two years, with more to follow.

The next restaurants to receive the upgrade likely will be in Alabama.

"We have a plan, but realistically to do 39 restaurants is going to be a longer-term project," Webb said.

Contact Daily News Business Editor Dusty Ricketts at 850-315-4448 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @DustyRnwfdn

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