Wendy's® Unveils Mediterranean-Inspired Premium Cheeseburger

Limited-time ciabatta sandwich is unique combination of hot and cool…crunch and tang…savory and sweet that will get you saying, "I Gotta Ciabatta!"

January 27, 2014 // Franchising.com // DUBLIN, Ohio - Say hello – make that, ciao – to Wendy's new Ciabatta Bacon Cheeseburger, the perfect combination of contrasting flavors and textures you would expect to find in an upscale bistro.

No typical marinara and mozzarella here – the Ciabatta Bacon Cheeseburger smells and tastes like it was crafted under the Italian sun. It features Mediterranean-inspired ingredients, like tangy, creamy rosemary garlic aioli and sweet, mildly tart, roasted chopped tomatoes. The tomatoes and spring mix made from nine different greens give a burst of cool freshness against melty, naturally aged Asiago cheese and a hot quarter-pound patty of fresh, never-frozen North American beef*. Applewood Smoked bacon gives the cheeseburger extra crunch, and toasted authentic ciabatta bread makes the perfect bun for these complex, rich flavors.

"We're back again with another premium cheeseburger on an artisan crafted bun to give consumers what they've come to love from Wendy's," said Craig Bahner, Wendy's Chief Marketing Officer. "The new Ciabatta Bacon Cheeseburger reinforces our commitment to offer consumers premium ingredients and unique flavors, changing what they should expect from a quick service restaurant.

"2013 was our 'Year of the Bun' – featuring the popular artisan pretzel bun paired with both cheeseburgers and chicken sandwiches; buttery brioche with our Bacon Portabella Melt; and a five-grain flatbread that gave grilled chicken a brand new look. Sales results proved these products were a hit with consumers as company-operated same restaurant sales were up 3.2 percent in the third quarter of 2013 (versus the prior year) and preliminary same restaurant sales were up 3.1 percent in the fourth quarter."

These innovative products are one component of Wendy's ongoing brand transformation initiative, which also includes the re-imaging of restaurants with a bold, contemporary look; an updated Wendy's logo; new crew uniforms; and consumer-preferred menuboards and packaging.

Gotta Ciabatta

Wendy's new ciabatta bun has a light, airy texture and a thin, delicate crust. It is produced on an artisan line and is sliced and baked, meaning no two ciabatta buns are exactly the same.

The Ciabatta Bacon Cheeseburger is on-trend with what consumers are craving in 2014. According to Technomic's recent The Flavor Consumer Trend Report**, artisan breads are listed among the Top 10 restaurant trends, and authentic sauces – like aiolis – and varied herb toppings were among the 2014 forecasted trends by Burger Business.

Available for a limited time only, the Ciabatta Bacon Cheeseburger has a recommended price of $4.79. Prices may vary by market.

Liven Lunch with "Lunch Intervention" E-Cards

Tired of eating lunch at your desk? Wendy's – in partnership with someecards®– is releasing humorous "lunch intervention"-themed e-cards for consumers to reconsider their "bad" lunch choices and go for something livelier, like a Ciabatta Bacon Cheeseburger. Share one or more of the 20 "lunch intervention" e-cards with friends, family and co-workers, by visiting www.Wendys.com/Ecards through early March. Five of the e-cards will be available in Spanish.

* Fresh beef available in contiguous United States and Canada. Approximate weight before cooking.
**Source: Technomic 2014 Flavor Consumer Trend Report, released on November 6, 2013. More information available upon request.

About The Wendy's Company

The Wendy's Company is the world's third largest quick-service hamburger company. The Wendy's system includes more than 6,500 franchise and Company restaurants in the United States and 28 countries and U.S. territories worldwide. For more information, visit www.wendys.com or www.aboutwendys.com.

SOURCE The Wendy's Company

Contacts:

Frank Vamos
614-764-8477
frank.vamos@wendys.com

Janna Chapman
404-879-9159
janna.chapman@ketchum.com

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