Wendy's Co. will unveil a new logo in March, the first such change in nearly 30 years, as the hamburger giant accelerates its ongoing effort to rebrand itself as a higher-quality fast-food chain.
"We want the most prominent symbol of our brand to reflect the transformation that's currently under way," Chief Marketing Officer Craig Bahner said. "Our refreshed logo signals the innovation and fresh thinking taking place at Wendy's, while reinforcing that we are staying true to our values as a distinct and beloved brand."
Wendy's is in the midst of a plan to spur long-term growth by revamping its menu, remodeling restaurants and expanding internationally. In August, the company said it was accelerating its restaurant remodeling plans, targeting remodels of half of its company-owned restaurants by the end of 2015.
Chief Executive Emil Brolick has called the restaurant redesign "one of the most important elements" of Wendy's growth strategy. Thursday, Mr. Brolick noted that "the transformation is already resonating with consumers and that Wendy's is "building momentum," particularly with its new "Image Activation" restaurants, which offer features like lounge seating with fireplaces, flat-screen TVs, wi-fi and digital menuboards.
Mr. Brolick said that by the end of the year, the chain expects to have completed a total of 75 re-imaged restaurants since the program began in 2011.
Wendy's is providing up to $10 million in incentives to franchisees to re-image their restaurants in 2013.
The new logo, which was designed by San Francisco design firm Tesser, will be introduced on packaging, advertising, crew uniforms, restaurant signage, menuboards and websites.
Wendy's has seen its bottom line pressured by rising commodity costs, failed marketing promotions and its menu and remodeling investment costs in recent quarters. In an effort to improve its promotions, the company in March hired Mr. Bahner, a longtime Procter & Gamble Co. (PG) executive, as its new marketing chief.
Among other moves, Wendy's has launched a new advertising campaign this past spring, menu additions that offer fresh ingredients and are freshly prepared, and has begun offering a mobile nutrition app that allows customers to personalize meals based on their calorie choices.
In August, the hamburger chain reported it had swung to a second-quarter loss as it recorded a massive loss on debt extinguishment and saw expenses rise.
Shares closed at $4.21 Wednesday and were inactive premarket. The stock is off 21% so far this year.