Wendy's Near takes step toward healing rift with franchisees

…the company "getting away from being the quality brand," Dave Norman, head of the Old Fashioned Franchisee Association, told Business First in May. The association was established in April in an effort to get the attention of the company's Franchise Advisory Council, which Norman said wasn't listening to their concerns.

Business First of Columbus
June 14, 2006

Wendy's Near takes step toward healing rift with franchisees

Wendy's International Inc.'s new chief operating officer, Dave Near, is making his first big move by creating the Restaurant Services Department.

Consolidating restaurant operations under the Restaurant Services Department will enable Near to focus on building relationships with Wendy's franchisees, the company said Wednesday.

Franchisee's have complained about the company "getting away from being the quality brand," Dave Norman, head of the Old Fashioned Franchisee Association, told Business First in May. The association was established in April in an effort to get the attention of the company's Franchise Advisory Council, which Norman said wasn't listening to their concerns.

The company promoted Ed Choe, previously Wendy's senior vice president of the northeast region, to fill the new position of executive vice president of restaurant services.

Choe, who will report to Near, will focus on improving the coordination and assistance provided to Wendy's restaurants, the company said.

Near's appointment as COO last month brings reassurance to franchisees, said Rick Wayman, a stock analyst with Sweetwater Asset Management LLC in Columbus.

Near, who oversees Wendy's (NYSE:WEN) franchised and company-owned restaurant operations, has experience running 29 outlets in Texas. He is also the son of former Wendy's CEO, Jim Near, who led the company from 1989 to 1995.


Risks: Franchisee advisory group (lap-dog), Independent franchisee association, United States, 20060614 Wendy’s Near

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