Wendy’s pigtails get first touch-up since 1983

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Mr. Brolick has noted that the revamps “enhance all dimensions of the Wendy’s experience” and that renovated locations see a 25 percent bump in sales. By 2015, Wendy’s plans to have half its 1,425 company-owned locations updated.

Ultimately, Mr. Brolick wants the company to be seen as a “top-end” fast-food chain — better quality than McDonald’s but perhaps not at the same level as Panera.

“Our goal is to be a five-star restaurant at a three-star price,” he said.

Building on the introduction of its sweet baked potato and Bacon Portabella Melt cheeseburger this year, the company is looking at introducing whole wheat buns and flatbreads. Mr. Brolick says those type of small adjustments can have a big impact on perceptions about the healthfulness and quality of the chain’s food.

The changes are even extending to employee uniforms, which will be updated next year to have a more tailored look.

The early feedback is positive, and Mr. Brolick says workers like them — so much so that they even feel comfortable wearing them outside the restaurant.

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