Wendy's: Designing Efficiency for Franchisees


Wendy’s is committed to doing its part to take care of the environment in the communities it serves and operates through a comprehensive energy stewardship program. Wendy’s has taken a systematic approach to identify and manage potential environmental impacts by putting controls and programs in place in company restaurants and has also provided these tools to franchisees, which is important since franchisees account for 95 percent of all Wendy’s restaurants.

One such tool is the “Smart Family of Designs” that provides a portfolio of development options to franchisees, including buildings that fit into smaller footprints. These designs provide more access to real estate, the ability to customize needs for specific trade areas, and reduce the development investment for franchisees looking to build new restaurants.

Wendy’s has continued to develop the program since its initial launch, introducing the Smart 2.0 Design with an even smaller footprint and features that promote energy efficiency, while targeting significant savings in development costs.

"We continue to look for ways to make the economics better for new development in high potential markets," said Abigail Pringle, chief development officer for The Wendy's Company. "Additionally, our new restaurant designs enhance our commitments to reduce energy usage across the Wendy's system. Energy conservation makes good business sense and it reflects the responsibility we have to be a good neighbor."

The Smart Design prototype features outdoor patio furniture made from recycled materials and exterior and interior LED lighting that provides better quality lighting while lowering energy use. LED lights and fixtures account for a 70 percent drop in energy usage versus using the traditional florescent tube lighting. Kitchens are outfitted with ENERGY STAR® certified equipment, including fryers and high-efficiency HVAC systems with options for refrigerators, ice cube compressors, and other equipment. Combined, these items cut down on restaurant energy consumption and CO2 emissions. A kiosk-centric ordering process also eliminates the need for interior menu boards.

                              In 2018, The Wendy’s Company opened one of its new Smart 2.0 restaurants in Columbus, Ohio.

Learn more about sustainability initiatives of The Wendy’s Company at www.wendys.com/environmental-sustainability.


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Building expertise within my organization, Identifying or evaluating energy-saving technologies

Tool type:

Corporate Energy Policies

Building Type:

Food sales & service, Restaurant, Fast food

Wendy's Smart 2.0 Design