HANFORD — After a little less than six weeks, the Wendy’s in Hanford re-opened Feb. 15 after remodeling its location.
Kris Stuebner, a spokesman for Wendy’s franchise in the Valley, said the remodel was Wendy’s way of bringing its new image to the store.
The company has plans to remodel 60 percent of its locations in the same manner by 2020. Stuebner said the Porterville location has already been remodeled as well.
The remodeling of the exterior, dining area and part of the kitchen area went smoothly Stuebner said.
“The store is going great,” he said. “It was like we never missed a beat.”
General Manager Alex Luna said the dining area is more spacious and open in design. He also pointed out they have a new 70-inch TV and a lounge-like area with comfy chairs and a fireplace.
Airyon Smith said she worked at this location before the remodel and one thing she appreciated were the new tools employees have to make their job easier. She pointed out that they no longer have numbers on receipts. The store now has a small TV that displays customers’ names and whether the order is ready.
The location needed to close entirely during the remodel due to food safety concerns from construction. Recently, Wendy’s in Hanford made the county’s “Food Safety Silver Star” list.
Stuebner said the remodel was not a setback for most employees. All but one stayed and during the remodel, most were able to work at other Wendy’s locations in the area.
Some employees went to Visalia, Selma and Tulare locations. Luna also worked at the Porterville location and a couple of the Fresno ones. He said most employees stayed closer to Hanford, and some decided to do temporary unemployment instead of working at another location.
Stuebner and Luna said they hired 20 employees to complement the current staff.
The Hanford location has been doing well since reopening. Stuebner said despite the fact that they have not advertised the reopening, old customers are coming in because they are excited about seeing the remodel and are just happy they are open again.
Luna said that they have seen a more consistent flow of business throughout the day since the re-opening. He said before the remodel, they would have their standard lunch rush and a slow-down between 2 and 5 p.m.
Stuebner said there is the possibility of more locations in Tulare and Kings counties but cannot disclose more information.
Stuebner is the executive director of administration and marketing at JEM Restaurant Management Corporation. One of JEM’s clients is Peninsula Foods L.P. which is the company that franchises Wendy’s here in the Valley.