Dover, Smyrna locations hit in Wendy’s renovation spree

Renovations began at the Wendy’s location on 1710 N. DuPont Highway in Dover in early April. The location, attached to an Exxon gas station, will be closed for several more weeks. Delaware State News/Ian Gronau

DOVER — The Wendy’s at 1710 N. DuPont Highway in north Dover is the latest to temporarily close for extensive renovation in a spree that will refresh all of Delaware’s 12 Wendy’s locations, says WenDover, Inc. vice president Robert Beaver.

Smyrna’s Wendy’s at 10 N. DuPont Highway was reopened on March 28 after a 15-week renovation that replaced nearly the entire structure except its bricks, says Mr. Beaver.

“We closed it down in mid-December 2018,” he said. “We bought the two homes behind the location, leveled them and expanded our parking lot. Then we completely gutted the restaurant and added all new plumbing, new roof and basically replace everything inside. We added a fireplace with a lounge area, a WiFi bar and TV with barstools as well. We added 950 plants to our landscaping as well — we really went all out.”

After nearly 35 years in business, Mr. Beaver notes that the building was starting to show its age.

“It was in need of some work, no doubt about it,” he said. “It was worth it for us to reinvest in it. The community has enjoyed that location’s service for quite awhile and this is a nice way to sort of give back to the community that has supported it.”

Workers putting the finishing touches on the new sign at Wendy’s in Smyrna in January. The restaurant closed for renovations in Dec. 2018 and reopening in late March 2019. Delaware State News/ Marc Clery

The location has about 60 employees with five managers.

The Dover location, attached to an Exxon gas station, was closed for its own renovation earlier this month says Mr. Beaver. About 25 years old itself, the smaller location has about 50 employees with five managers.

“We’re doing a similar project here,” said Mr. Beaver. “The Dover one wasn’t in as bad of shape, but we’re putting in all the same fireplace and TV, WiFi bar amenities.”

Currently in the thick of the project, he doesn’t expect to reopen for several more weeks.

Investing in franchise future

Though not providing the exact dollar amount of the renovation, Mr. Beaver says the WenDover, Inc. franchise group is spending around $1 million per project.

“We’re going all out on these projects and really concentrating on doing a great job,” he added.

Appealing to a marketing quip made by Wendy’s founder Dave Thomas, Mr. Beaver says they decided to include the so many added amenities for the same reason Wendy’s hamburgers are square: because “Wendy’s doesn’t cut corners.”

The Dover location is the 11th to be renovated. Their final store in the state is scheduled to get its facelift in 2020, says Mr. Beaver.

“The last store to get renovated is in the Chestnut Hill Plaza in Newark,” he added.

Taken together, the franchise group’s large investment in the state’s stores are an indication that management plans to adjust to customers’ desires, Mr. Beaver notes this includes adding more inviting interiors and more modern conveniences.

“We’re excited to keep serving these great communities,” he said.

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