DUBLIN, OHIO— Earnings and sales at Wendy’s International, Inc. climbed in the second quarter as the company continued focusing on digital pursuits.
Net income for the second quarter ended June 30 was $32.4 million, equal to 14c per share on the common stock, up 8% from $29.9 million, or 12c per share, in the same period last year. Revenues totaled $435.3 million, up nearly 6% from $411 million, driven by higher sales at company-operated restaurants and an increase in franchise royalty revenue.
Same-restaurant sales were up 1.4%, and 28 new restaurants opened globally. System-wide sales grew 3.3%.
Todd A. Penegor, chief executive officer at Wendy’s, told analysts the company is ahead of its digital enhancement goals during an Aug. 7 conference call. More than 80% of North American restaurants now are on a delivery platform, and delivery will be fully integrated into the company’s mobile app by the end of the year, he said.
A combination of training and credit card processing improvements reduced delivery times during the second quarter, which ran north of the company’s 30-minute goal during the first part of the year.
“We’ve made some improvements to trend closer to that 30-minute mark,” Mr. Penegor said. “We’re in the ballpark, or the sweet spot, of where we need to be on delivery times.”
Low awareness about Wendy’s digital initiatives remains the biggest headwind. Mr. Penegor said the company will focus on driving app acquisition through offers like free junior bacon cheeseburgers with any mobile order.
While other fast-food giants like McDonald’s and Burger King now use multiple delivery parties, Mr. Penegor said Wendy’s will remain on one third-party delivery platform. Restaurants in Canada currently are available through Save The Dishes, while U.S. restaurants are available through DoorDash.
Wendy’s also is exploring options in the plant-based protein space.
“We had a great-tasting black bean burger several years ago,” he said. “It did well in some markets. It didn’t perform so well on others, but it was operationally complex.”
He said any plant-based proteins offered by Wendy’s in the future will need to appeal to both consumers and restaurant operators. FBN