Wendy’s (WEN) posted SSSG (same-store sales growth) of 1.3% in the North American region compared to 0.8% in 4Q16. Analysts had forecast SSSG of 1.8%. Increased competition from other fast food restaurants such as McDonald’s (MCD) lowered Wendy’s traffic, resulting in lower-than-expected SSSG in 4Q17.
Wendy’s 4Q17 SSSG was driven by menu innovations, the enhancement of customer experience by remodeling old restaurants, the implementation of technological advancements, the introduction of a delivery service, and various marketing and promotional initiatives. The company image activated 551 restaurants in North America in 2017. By the end of 4Q17, it had image activated 43% of its global system. It reported that its image activation resulted in a sales increase in the mid- to high-single-digits. During the quarter, it introduced its Chicken Tenders and reintroduced its Double Stack into the 4 for $4 Meal Deal.
During the quarter, Wendy’s started delivery service by partnering with DoorDash. The service was extended to 20% of its restaurants by the end of the year. At the end of 2017, 80% of the company’s North American restaurants were taking mobile orders. Wendy’s also installed kiosks in approximately 150 restaurants to enhance the customer experience and increase throughput.