If you are a fast food lover, there is no chance that you’re not aware of Wendy’s. However, if hearing the name Wendy’s doesn’t ring a bell, then trust me, you guys are seriously missing out on life.
If the name Wendy’s doesn’t create a picture of the juiciest and the freshest hamburgers and chicken sandwiches, along with the super crispy sea salt fries in your head, then don’t ever call yourself a fast food freak.
It has a prominent geographical presence in the fast food industry. Wendy’s is currently operating at 6,500 sites across 29 countries. Although most of the sites are dispersed within the US, Wendy’s restaurants are still present in other countries.
Since Wendy’s is a top fast food chain, we decided to conduct Wendy’s SWOT Analysis to find out the internal and external factors that impact the growth of Wendy’s.
Before heading towards the SWOT analysis, let’s look at Wendy’s history and how far it has come after decades of hard work.
The history of Wendy’s is quite impressive as it reflects the persistent efforts that result in significant successes like Wendy’s.
To know how it all started, let’s rewind back to 1969 when a guy named Dave Thomas opened the first Wendy’s restaurant in Columbus, Ohio. At that time, the restaurant only offered beef burgers.
Although there wasn’t much on the restaurant’s menu then, Wendy’s beef burgers became a big success, and people started going to Wendy’s.
From there onwards, Wendy’s started growing due to its delicious taste and fantastic food quality. Other than that, effective business strategies also played a significant role in the growth of Wendy’s.
Just after a year of opening, In 1970, Wendy’s introduced the first pick-up window ever. In addition, Wendy’s was the first restaurant ever to present what we now call a drive-through. This new feature attracted customers greatly and helped the restaurant increase its customer base.
Later, Wendy’s decided to diversify its menu by adding chicken sandwiches, salads, breakfast items, and beverages, which became a great source of attraction for consumers.
Currently, Wendy’s generated revenue of around $1.5 billion in 2021. This revenue was almost equally generated through sales and the inflow through the franchises.
After discussing the history and the current market situation of Wendy’s, let’s proceed further to carry out the SWOT analysis of Wendy’s.
SWOT analysis is basically a business tool that helps us identify the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats that an organization faces through a SWOT template. Businesses use SWOT analysis to analyze the internal and external factors affecting the performance of an organization.
Before we start with the SWOT analysis, I would recommend you guys have a look at some of the examples of SWOT analysis to gain a better understanding of this article.
Here we will discuss some of the strengths of Wendy’s that helped it become one of the top fast-food brands all over the globe.
The menu plays a vital role in attracting customers. Diversified and personalized menus always attract customers.
Wendy’s menu has a lot of different options. Their prices are about average for fast food restaurants. Considering its food quality, it has a reasonable price. Wendy’s menu is fancier than the other restaurants like McDonald’s or Burger King.
It provides a more personalized menu to the customer, having items like Bacon Portabella Melt on Brioche, which is fancier.
Being internationally present is a significant plus point for any organization as it generates more revenue.
Wendy’s has a significant international presence and a solid local presence. Besides Wendy’s operations in the US, it operates in 29 other countries. Such a solid global presence helps Wendy’s generate vast sums of revenue from different parts of the world.
Besides good food, good service also holds great significance in customers’ eyes. Good service can be a cause for attracting several customers. Wendy’s continuously tries to provide value and customer service at the same time.
The fast food chain has been investing resources into its restaurant service area to provide good customer service. The digital menu boards, Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs, comfortable seating arrangements, and fireplaces are all little things that collectively send a very modern message to the customers.
Brand image is a significant factor in the success of a brand. If a brand has a good brand image, naturally, customers become customers of that brand.
Initially, Wendy’s was a beef burger-selling restaurant. However, as time passed, Wendy’s felt the need to adopt the changing trends by offering healthier meals on the menu. Currently, Wendy’s is undoubtedly a brand that aims at health-conscious customers who want to eat leaner and cleaner.
This strategy of Wendy’s to add healthy meals such as low-fat morning meals and salads has really improved the image of Wendy’s as it has made itself available for health-conscious people as well.
Weaknesses can cause any organization to be unsuccessful, and sometimes a company is at risk of failing if there are too many weaknesses. So to succeed, companies must try to eliminate these weaknesses from their businesses.
In the second section of the SWOT analysis, we will look at some of Wendy’s weaknesses.
Limited Global Presence
Global presence is significant for any organization as it helps increase its consumer base and revenue.
Although Wendy’s operates in 29 countries, most of its restaurants are in the US. Out of the total number of Wendy’s outlets, 5,938 are in the US. This means that the presence of Wendy’s is minimal internationally.
Prices of the items a food outlet provides matter when deciding where to dine in. Restaurants that offer low-priced products tend to attract more customers.
Wendy’s is considered a little expensive in the fast food industry compared to other brands such as Mcdonald’s. This factor can hold back Wendy’s from achieving potential growth. Customers would prefer other cheaper brands instead of Wendy’s.
As awareness has spread through social media and technology, people have become very conscious about their diets. Healthy eating has become a global trend as people have realized the diseases associated with unhealthy food.
Fast food is considered unhealthy because it has several side effects on the body. Although Wendy’s has now introduced healthy items on its menu, several products are still regarded as unhealthy such as Burgers, beverages, etc.
This label of selling unhealthy food attached to Wendy’s reduces the consumer base of Wendy’s due to which profits of Wendy’s are minimized, and brand image is damaged.
Opportunities are the chances available for an organization. Every organization tries to make the most out of these changes since availing these chances can provide an edge to an organization.
Every organization needs to regularly analyze the global market changes and take necessary steps to exploit such opportunities.
Demand for Fast Food in Semi-Urban Markets
Demand for products keeps on changing. An organization that anticipates these changes timely proves to be ahead of the curve.
Since a surge in demand for fast food is observed, and it is predicted that the fast food industry will grow in the future, it means that the demand for fast food in semi-urban markets will also grow.
Wendy’s can exploit this changing trend to its benefit by moving its operations into less developed markets, where fast food is considered a new phenomenon.
Brands are always looking to invest in new, more profitable markets. Emerging economies are considered a game changer in business since they have high consumption.
Investing in emerging economies such as Africa, Pakistan, and India can benefit Wendy’s as these are consumption-driven economies. Wendy’s can gain profits by operating in such economies.
Acquisitions are a business strategy businesses use to attain growth by taking over their competitors. The acquisition minimizes the threat of competition in the market. In addition, it increases the company’s market share of the company that acquires smaller brands.
Wendy’s can acquire smaller brands to minimize its competition in the market and increase its market share. This will increase Wendy’s revenue and cause an expansion in Wendy’s operations geographically.
Any organization that is in the market faces threats from the external environment. Similarly, Wendy’s also faces threats externally. In this section, we will look at some of the threats with which Wendy’s has to deal.
High competition is a threat for any organization, especially in an industry like food and beverages, where many brands offer similar products at different prices. For example, Wendy’s faces a threat from its competitors like Mcdonald’s and Burger King.
Both of these brands have a vast customer base and more widely spread operations across the globe. To overcome this threat, Wendy’s needs to develop a unique selling point to increase its customer base and differentiate itself from its competitors.
A rise in the prices of essential commodities has been observed as the demand for the goods increased after the major waves of COVID-19. Moreover, the Russia-Ukraine war also caused disruption in the supply. Due to these factors, the world is observing global inflation.
As prices increase globally, Wendy’s prices will also increase. This will minimize Wendy’s revenue and profits.
As people are more aware of what to eat and what routine to have, this can threaten the brands operating in the fast food industry.
Since people are becoming more health conscious and more aware through the internet, a decrease in the demand for fast food is being observed. People are now shifting away from fast food since it is considered unhealthy.
This shift toward a healthy lifestyle can pose a real threat to Wendy’s since this will cause a decline in the demand for fast food and cause a reduction in the revenue of Wendy’s.
Finally, after conducting the SWOT analysis of Wendy’s, we have reached the end of this article. Let’s summarise whatever we have covered so far.
We started this article by telling you guys a bit about the history of Wendy’s and how it evolved over the years to be ranked 3rd out of all the burger chains.
Then after providing you the insight into Wendy’s and its current position in the market, we proceeded further to carry out Wendy’s SWOT analysis.
We started the SWOT analysis by highlighting the strengths of Wendy’s. After that, we discussed some of its weaknesses. Then we also discussed the opportunities and threats faced by the burger chain.
In this article, we conducted the SWOT analysis in the form of an essay. However, the findings of this SWOT analysis can also be represented in the form of a SWOT Matrix. This is a more efficient way to express the outcomes of a SWOT analysis.
Since we are concluding this article, we hope you will have enjoyed reading it. Moreover, besides getting insight into Wendy’s, we assume that it has also educated you on how to conduct a SWOT analysis.