Why Wendy's Quietly Got Rid of Its Sunrooms

With its salad bars and fresh-never-frozen burgers, Wendy’s has long billed itself as a classy alternative to its fast-food competitors. While many fast-food chains were embellishing their restaurants with colorful, plastic play equipment, Wendy’s took a more mature approach to its design, installing solariums that were meant to evoke upscale living. Sunrooms were a popular architectural feature at the time, and interest in solar technology was growing. At Wendy’s, the warm, sunny spaces decorated with hanging plants and wood paneling invited diners to make themselves comfortable. What Wendy's learned is that solariums are expensive to cool in the summer and heat in the winter. So, in 2012, corporate officials decided it was time to phase out the solariums in favor of a more sleek, modern look. In addition to the design change, Wendy’s also left behind their salad bars, yellow packaging, and old-school logo.