Monday, April 28, 2008

Arbys buys Wendy's

Arby's has bought Wendy's for 2.34 billion dollars. While the stores will continue to operate autonomously, Dave Thomas's family is not happy with the news:
It's a very sad day for Wendy's, and our family. We just didn't think this would be the outcome," said Farber, 53. If her father were alive to hear news of the buyout, "he would not be amused," she said.

Arby's needs to watch out. This is a fast food icon whose posthumous legacy is unblemished, and now they've pissed off his family. Unlike Colonel Sanders, Dave Thomas now only exists in the form of faded posters overlooking condiment racks of restaurants who haven't touched their decor since 2002. While Colonel Sanders has been reintroduced in a comical animated form, rendering the Colonel's tormented spirit incapacitated from spinning so furiously in his grave, Dave Thomas's old stomping grounds are ripe for the haunting.

And it doesn't stop there. Arby's has pissed off the friendly redheaded namesake as well:
Farber said she had just gotten off the phone with her sister Wendy, 46, the company's namesake. "She's feeling horrible. She just is devastated," Farber said.
Arby's, this acquisition has only upset the family so far, but the consequences are much broader if you manage to alienate the fan base. Less competition in the fast food business means prices can go up with less resistance, but God help you if you take away the 99-cent chicken nuggets.

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