A Look Inside Our Remodeled Wendy’s Restaurant

[kc_heading_pac_3_headline_main size=”18″ color=”#C00″ ]Great coupons in today’s paper inserts to try out the new Wendy’s..[/kc_heading_pac_3_headline_main]

Great Wendy's coupons in today's Local Value folder
Great Wendy’s coupons in today’s Local Value folder
Wendy’s is busy remodeling many of their locations as they continue their push to create a more upscale eating experience similar to Chipotle and Panera with a higher quality menu and slightly higher prices. They’ve added sandwiches such as Son of Baconator and Asiago Ranch Chicken which has increased revenue in some areas by almost 3%.

Our local Wendy’s closed up completely for a couple of months while the transformation took place which included an all new interior, new exterior markings that included stripping away the old facade and replacing it with a more modern look, and all new glass.

In today’s Local Value newspaper insert there were some great coupons that were good immediately as well as another set for January. It seemed like the ideal time to take a look inside and get a free large chicken sandwich at the same time to see what they have done.

The first thing you will see missing is any salad or taco bars, just the usual order and pick-up windows. Everything is made fresh so you may wait a bit longer for your order which is why they ask for your name (so they can call it out). If you are like me you will stare at the new pop dispenser wondering how to make it work. Pushing on the mechanism drops the ice into your cup. But to get a beverage from the same area you need to select what kind and then press a big flashing button. I’m sure that kids may have trouble operating it since the selection buttons may be out of their reach.

The atmosphere is very casual and there is a flat-screen TV for those who want to sit and sip coffee in the comfortable chairs. The only problem may be hearing the TV since they have music playing throughout via the overhead speakers.

As far as the food service and quality I didn’t really notice any big difference in the flavor of their spicy chicken and fries. My order as well as the person in the booth behind me were screwed up, though. I sat down with a cheeseburger before getting it exchanged and the lady behind me was getting plenty of apologies from the young fellow working the register and doing some PR to those in the store. The free chicken sandwich would have added another $3.99 to my $4.24 check for a large fries and medium drink making the normal cost over $8.00 which may be more than many want to spend for a quick sandwich and fries

Figuring out the new fangled pop dispenser may take a minute
Figuring out the new fangled pop dispenser may take a minute
There are comfortable chairs and a flat screen TV for those who are in no rush
There are comfortable chairs and a flat screen TV for those who are in no rush
Typical order and pick-up stations but the wait is a bit longer since everything is made fresh
Typical order and pick-up stations but the wait is a bit longer since everything is made fresh
Up-scaled Wendy's features all new exterior and glass along with convenient drive-thru
Up-scaled Wendy’s features all new exterior and glass along with convenient drive-thru

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  • Ed F.

    Not liking it. The re-located entrance near the SE corner is shielded by a solid partition (look at the last photo). Customers leaving, and the drivers of cars coming around that corner, cannot quickly see each other; there is minimal time for sensing and reacting. Removing the sight-line through the corner of the building and placing the entrance there was a major dis-service by the designers.

    A traffic-flow design which REQUIRES vehicles using the drive-thru to circle the building twice, on a small lot, with ALL foot-traffic having to cross the vehicle traffic, should have been considered unacceptable from a safety perspective. I’m very disappointed (but not surprised) that the Village Board / Zoning Committee allowed the renovation to proceed with the same traffic pattern as previously.

    Whether walking from a vehicle in the parking lot, or walking/biking to the Wendy’s, everyone eating-in faces at least twice as much traffic getting to an entry door as they should, not counting the add’l vehicles circling the bldg just LOOKING for parking (it’s not a big lot to begin with, and now draws more traffic).

    At the SW corner of the lot, the lane for the cars entering on their “first lap” merges with the lane exiting the drive-thru window, making that corner and the whole Rollins-side of the parking lot nasty for those walking to/from the building. Sit and watch some time on a busy day like I did…

    They also missed the safety aspect of providing a tie-in from the Orchard Lane sidewalk into/onto the property. Those of us who do try (or have) to walk or cycle in-town and manage to make it alive through the Rollins Road / Orchard Lane intersection still need to go “off-road” and climb through the often wet/muddy (and sometimes snowy) landscaping and, yes… weave through the cars circling twice.

    Hello… bike rack? Anyone? Wendy’s is DIRECTLY ACROSS THE STREET from the town’s bike shop. Is it really only out-of-towners who purchase bikes there… or is Wendy’s intentionally not addressing the bicycle-riding segment of our population? If your answer is to “forget family bike rides with a stop to eat” because they’re “just too dangerous”, we need to look at how that came to be considering we’re in the 3rd-flattest state in the Union!

    Add to that the Handicap Parking is not situated near the entrance. Once these folks have made it across both the waiting-to-order and the leaving-the-parking-lot lanes to the curb-cut, it’s another 20′-25′ to the entrance. Look at the last photo again… you can’t even see the curb-cut (it is off the picture to the right). ADA requirements for the location of Handicap Parking are: “SHALL be located on the shortest accessible route of travel from adjacent parking to an accessible entrance”. “Accessibility” un-friendly design!

    A drive-thru IS convenient… for drivers. Unfortunately for local businesses, once a resident is behind the wheel and has a burger in hand, it is just as easy to take the family and the rest of their money and head for Grayslake, Antioch, Libertyville or ANYPLACE with a walkable downtown to get the small-town experience they can’t get in Round Lake Beach.

  • Gene Carey

    Ed, I can’t tell you how happy I was to see your comments here on the driveway situation. I had mentioned to Mayor Hill that I couldn’t understand WHY they didn’t move the main entrance farther East where their dumpsters are stored during the time it was all fenced off. Most villages and Counties would never allow an entrance that close to an intersection (Orchard).

    You have addressed some real important concerns that I also witnessed on Thursday when I stopped by again with another coupon. This time I parked in the very last spot at the SW corner of the lot facing Orchard and used the West entrance. I had to be especially alert to drivers who had just received their orders and were ready to accelerate around the building for a second time. There are many fast food drive-through’s that require circling the building but none that I know of that require you to circle it again after receiving your order.

    I sat inside watching the flat screen TV which I noticed DID closed-caption words going across the bottom since the overhead music drowns out the sound. As I sat there I saw a handicapped man with a walker exit the East entrance with a walker. As you pointed out, he had to travel a ways down the sidewalk before arriving at the curb cut to proceed to his vehicle which was a longer walk than I had made from my car.

    I’m not sure why they don’t have an vehicle entrance where the grassy area is between Wendy”s and Panera Bread that could be shared by both. I may shoot some video in the next couple of days while the weather is warm enough to sit in the car with the windows rolled down showing both vehicles and people entering and exiting the building/parking lot.

  • Jill T.

    After all those renovations, I was really hoping the new Wendy’s would be a mirror image flip, especially with regard to the drive-thru, so that customers could drive around the building just once. Some of the other issued mentioned here, I hadn’t noticed, but they make perfect sense now that I read them.

    Inside the Wendy’s, it is awkward to enter and walk through seated customers to get to the order-taking location. The way the order-taking was before, allowing customers to EXIT with their receipt nearby the seating, made a lot more sense. Perhaps it is easier or more efficient for behind-the-counter work; I have no idea.

    I like the fake fireplace and the small bakery counter near the cashier. It adds to the ambience. I couldn’t figure out how to access the wi-fi; the store seemed to be too busy for me to ask (as far as the large number of seated customers to walk through to return to the cashier.) Perhaps next time I’ll find a sign posted about it.

  • Gene Carey

    Mayor Hill responded to me directly and I’m sure he won’t mind me sharing a bit of what he had to say here. First of all I was not a regular customer of Wendy’s (even though I love their Chocolate Frosty) due to the way their entrance was designed, making it too difficult to exit left onto Orchard. Mayor Hill stated that the drive-through was the same prior to the remodeling, requiring circling twice to use the drive-thru. He said that the kitchen is located at the north end of the building and if they had put the windows on the other side of the building they would block the doors as cars stack. Mayor Hill also said that they did address the issue of traffic circulation but there was no solution other than rebuilding from scratch and demanding a revision would have amounted to no remodeling being done at all.

    Quoting a small portion of his email:
    “Could it have been built better originally? Yes. But is wasn’t so now we work with what we have. We can look at moving the entrance to the parking lot as you suggested. We will also look into the handicap parking to be sure it meets state law.”

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