Fast food has been Americans’ go-to meal of choice since the golden arches were first built back in 1948. That’s a long time to be in business and it’s no secret that many chains have needed an upgrade from when they were originally established. This year, a certain few chose to take their somewhat outdated look, feel, and functionality up to a whole new level to better suit modern life.
Here are five fast-food chains that have gotten a major upgrade this year.
After 77 years, Baskin-Robbins went back to the drawing board and came up with a whole new look for its well-known company logo. The chunky and whimsical lettering, with bold shades of pink and blue was transformed into a more modern and sharp design with soft tones, that vary from brown and pink, to brown and blue, and/or pink and white.
This makeover was a decision from the ice cream chain’s leadership team, in order to continue being a sweet treat staple to the many customers that have been visiting since childhood, as well as begin to attract the younger generation of consumers. And with a new logo, comes a new slogan too—”Seize the Yay.”
“Small moments that spark joy often get taken for granted. We’re encouraging people to pause and celebrate any moment that brings happiness with Baskin-Robbins,” Jerid Grandinetti, vice president of marketing and culinary at Baskin-Robbins, said in a company press release.
Burger King no longer wanted to be last in the race for the best fast-food burger chain, so the company is stepping it up in all kinds of ways. For starters, the brand announced a “Reclaim the Flame” $400 million investment plan, which will increase advertising, implement higher quality standards, and contribute to the ongoing and growing technology developments of the future. Burger King’s new ad campaign was put in place to force an uptick in sales and create long-term profitability for the franchise.
Also within this year, Burger King has promised to elevate its products to become more “premium,” which includes the chain’s most infamous menu item—the Whopper. The iconic burger is in store for better quality cooking execution and new, top-tier flavors.
“We are relentlessly pursuing a better experience for our Guests. This is the driving force behind all the initiatives that we are executing collaboratively with our Franchisees. Our plan is focused on a few important priorities—operational excellence, refreshed image, and enhanced marketing—that when put together, provide a superior experience for our Guests,” said Tom Curtis, president of Burger King North America, in a press release.
This past fall, the Hardee’s / Carl’s Jr. franchise started rolling out new store layouts and modernized designs through restaurant decor and employee uniforms. As for the “happy star” logo everyone knows and loves, its new identity is cleaner and some may say it has an even bigger smile.
The visual changes to the chain’s restaurants were heavily influenced by multiple menu items. You may see a few new colors within a Hardee’s / Carls Jr., including Charbroil Black, American Cheese Yellow, Flame Red, and Biscuit Cream.
Wingstop saw a change in profits back in the height of the pandemic, where there was an increase in take-out orders and extremely low numbers when it came to dine-in customers. Now, chicken wing joint plans to fill in the gaps and challenges in terms of improving the online ordering experience.
Due to the fact that about 65% of the company’s revenue comes through digital platforms, ghost kitchens are going to be the next big step in helping you pick up an order from Wingstop. The company found major success with the ghost kitchen locations in Manhattan earlier this year, as well as, the original location in Dallas.
“Our Lovers Lane location is a glimpse into the future of Wingstop—focused on 100% digital transactions, seamless back of house operations, ongoing flavor innovation, and a business model centered around our fans, who love to dine off-premise,” Marisa Carona, chief growth officer, said in a press release.
While Wendy’s hasn’t been at the top of the list of fast-food drive-thrus with best speed and service for years, that’s set to change in the near future. The chain will be getting a whole new look, inside and out, with upgrades like mobile and delivery pick-up windows and what the company called “Next Generation Technology.”
Wendy’s President and CEO Todd Penegor said in a press release, “Global Next Gen enhances the customer experience across ordering channels and streamlines operations for our crew, all while creating better returns for franchisees.”
Wendy’s idea is to increase efficiency, starting with the kitchen and store layout. Grills will be of higher quality and have faster cook times, while employees will have more flexibility in positions to better support customer needs. Restaurant locations will also include various pick-up lanes, so delivery drivers, online, and in-store customers will all be accommodated in a convenient and quick manner.
In addition, the fast-food chain intends to spruce up the overall look and feel of every Wendy’s restaurant. The slick new design continues to use the classic red, but also uses monotone grays and browns to appeal to the current day and age.