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Wendy's released respectable numbers yesterday, but a blunt comment is what drew industry attention.
Earnings at company-owned stores were up 2% for the year and 5.1% in 4Q, but the talk is about a candid assessment from Chief Operating Officer Steve Farrar:
McDonald's is investing billions into its facilities. Ours are looking dated, old and run down. We are clearly not the cool place to go to these days.
Farrar is correct. The competition is not merely about price or food, it is about perception. Some new MCD outlets are more like hipster coffee bars than the traditional burger franchise.