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In Wendy’s earnings call, chief executive Emil Brolick confirmed that the Pretzel Bacon Cheeseburger was achieving its goals of driving third-quarter sales and elevating Wendy’s menu positioning.

“There are a lot of people that can afford to go to quick-casual restaurants, but there are many, many more that cannot afford or certainly not afford to go on a consistent basis,” he said. “So when you can give them Pretzel Bacon Cheeseburger-quality products at a QSR price, we think that’s a heck of a proposition, and you’re going to see more of it.”

Second-quarter same-store sales rose less than 1 percent due to inadequate sales of value items on the Right Price Right Size menu offsetting strong performance of the Grilled Chicken Flatbread limited-time offer, he added. Wendy’s acknowledged that dynamic in its first-quarter earnings call and has addressed it with more consistent value messaging, he said.

“I feel quite good about where we are on the calendar for the remainder of the year,” Brolick said. “Looking down the road, we’ve also begun to lay out a hypothetical calendar for next year and, particularly, the first quarter. I think that there’s some very exciting ideas that are in that calendar as well.”

Wendy’s second-quarter profit margin rose 2.6 percent from a year ago to 16.7 percent of sales, benefiting greatly from the discontinuation of breakfast and its advertising in several markets, chief financial officer Steve Hare said. But the brand is also projecting full-year margin growth of 0.5 percent to 14.5 percent of sales, due in large part to its sale of 425 company-owned restaurants, most of them less profitable units in the West, to franchisees.

The move is expected to reduce annualized general and administrative expenses by $30 million within 12 months, improve margins, and increase cash flow from rent and royalty income. It also would reduce Wendy’s corporate ownership of its nearly 6,500 restaurants from 22 percent of the system to 15 percent.

Wendy’s sold 24 restaurants to giant Pizza Hut franchisee NPC International — which recently agreed to buy an additional 13 locations — and has sold an additional 5 units in Kansas City, Mo., to another franchisee.

Brolick said the refranchising would be a way to accelerate Image Activation remodels among the franchisees but added that Wendy’s would lead the reimaging program in the company-operated system as well.

“The magnitude of the consumer response that we’re getting to these restaurants is an economic motivation by itself,” he said, “so we’re going to continue to be very aggressive about Image Activation.”