Do you recall seeing a Wendys that didn’t quite fit in with the others? While not every Wendy’s looks the same, the ones we’re discussing have a distinctive feature that you likely haven’t seen before, at least not in a fast food restaurant. These Wendy’s have “sunrooms.” Which are large, bright indoor rooms with floor-to-ceiling windows that provide an unobstructed view of the outdoors.
Although modern Wendys have as many similarities to rivals like McDonald’s and Burger King as it does differences. The chain has a long and distinguished history of innovation. According to a spokesperson for Wendy’s. The salad bar introduced in 1979. Making it the first of its kind at nationwide fast food chains. This was reported in 1986 by The Washington Post. Wendy’s also claims credit for being the first fast food chain to implement a drive-thru window in 1970. However, other restaurants have also given credit for developing the drive-thru concept.
Wendys Coupons wants to prove to the world that fast food can be innovative. So it serves never-frozen beef, has salad bars, and has drive-thru windows. It appears that many Wendys locations owe some of their architecture to this pioneering spirit. Why isn’t anyone using sunrooms anymore, and what did they use to be for?
Attempting To Make A Good Impression, Wendys Installed Sunrooms
It’s safe to assume that fast food joints won’t include in a discussion of what makes a restaurant upscale. Fast food restaurants have gained popularity as a convenient option for people who don’t feel like cooking but still want to eat well. That strategy helped turn mom-and-pop burger joints into global powerhouses. But there was a time when fast food wanted to shed its “grease pit” reputation in favor of appealing to a more upscale clientele.
Wendy’s thought that adding solariums to its restaurants would be a great way to give them a more upscale feel. In 1985. Wendys vice president of communications Denny Lynch gave an interview to The New York Times where he discussed the concept and the solariums’ two main benefits. The solarium would expose the dining room to the outside world while also bathing it in natural light and creating an inviting and cozy atmosphere. Lynch reasoned that passing motorists would see how crowded Wendy’s was and compelled to stop in for a meal.
In addition to installing 700 sunrooms at Wendys restaurants across the United States. The chain plans to upgrade the interior design by adding touches like hanging plants and wood paneling in the hopes of attracting high-end burger customers.
Sadly, Sunrooms Went Out Of Style
People’s preferences and interests shift as the years go by. What was cool in the ’80s could consider cheesy and dated by today’s standards. This was the sad fate that befell Wendy’s sunrooms. The idea of luring customers in with sunrooms and hanging ferns soon became antiquated as fast food restaurants shifted their focus to convenience and service.
The evolution of cooling and heating technology may also have contributed to the demise of the sunroom. In the summer, the sunrooms would warm the restaurant for free. But in the winter, they would be difficult to heat and the restaurant would be much cooler. Something that supposed to attract customers by taking advantage of the sun’s warmth actually resulted in the need for the staff to crank up the air conditioning. While sunrooms were all the rage in the summer, by fall and winter they were nothing more than cold, empty rooms.
Some Wendys across the country have had their sunrooms demolished as part of larger-scale remodels in response to changing customer preferences. But others have kept them. Once a beacon of fast food’s aspirations for expansion. The Golden Arches are now nothing more than an architectural curiosity in a landscape dominated by hamburgers and mascots.