Wendy’s cel­e­brates 25 years in Tim­mins

The Daily Press (Timmins) - - NEWS -

Hun­dreds turned out for Wendy’s of­fi­cial open­ing in Tim­mins on Nov. 17, 1993.

Twenty-five years later, Wendy’s is cel­e­brat­ing a mile­stone an­niver­sary, co­in­cid­ing with a ma­jor makeover of its Tim­mins restau­rant. Cus­tomers com­ing into the newly ren­o­vated restau­rant in Tim­mins will im­me­di­ately no­tice the dif­fer­ence.

There are dig­i­tal menu boards, a fire­place, flat screen TVs and a loung­ing area where peo­ple can sit in com­fort and have their meal.

The car­pet­ing that cov­ered the floors has been taken out and the old bar­rier seat­ing has been re­moved and re­placed with move­able chairs and ta­bles, cre­at­ing more wide open spa­ces.

The ex­te­rior façade has been changed and the larger win­dows al­low for more nat­u­ral light to come in. Be­hind the counter, in the area where food prepa­ra­tion is done, all new kitchen equip­ment was brought in.

“This was an ex­ten­sive re­vamp,” said Mark Torchia, pres­i­dent of the Tim­mins-based Torchia Group, which owns the lo­cal Wendy’s restau­rant along with 12 oth­ers across the prov­ince. “I re­ally like the de­sign. It’s wide open and very user friendly. “We’ve got dif­fer­ent types of ta­bles now. Ev­ery­thing is move­able be­cause we wanted to make sure if cus­tomers want to split up a cou­ple of ta­bles or move them to­gether, they can.”

The im­prove­ments were con­ducted over an eightweek pe­riod and con­cluded in mid-Oc­to­ber. Among the new fea­tures at the restau­rant are the newly in­stalled Coca-Cola Freestyle ma­chines. Th­ese are touch-screen soda foun­tains that pro­vide cus­tomers with a se­lec­tion of 120 dif­fer­ent brands and flavours to choose from.

“It’s some­thing, I think, the kids are go­ing to grav­i­tate to,” said Torchia. “They like the idea of hav­ing choices and be­ing able to play around with a lot of op­tions.”

Over the 25 years he has been man­ag­ing Wendy’s, Torchia has seen a shift in the busi­ness, with greater em­pha­sis placed by cus­tomers on the drive-through ser­vice.

“Drive-through has re­ally grown over the years. It’s gone from some­thing that was maybe 40% of our busi­ness at one time to prob­a­bly 60% or 65%.” That trend is re­flected in some of the changes at Wendy’s restau­rants be­ing seen chain-wide.

“A new Wendy’s would have 30 or 35 seats. This one (in Tim­mins) has about 90.”

With the re­design, Torchia said, “I just didn’t want to make it any smaller. Even though the ac­tual busi­ness has changed a lot, we still get busy lunches and we had to keep it like this.”

Right from Day 1 when Wendy’s opened in Tim­mins, Torchia un­der­stood the ben­e­fits of gain­ing a rep­u­ta­tion of pro­vid­ing good qual­ity and fast ser­vice.

“If we give good ser­vice, peo­ple are go­ing to come back. If we have a fast drive-through, peo­ple are go­ing to come here. We’re rec­og­nized for that.” Torchia is quick to de­flect any credit to him­self for Wendy’s suc­cess in Tim­mins.

In­stead, he cred­its his staff for mak­ing it a suc­cess and the com­mu­nity for sup­port­ing the busi­ness all th­ese years. “This is my flag­ship. This is where I started. With­out the Tim­mins store, I don’t think I would have the oth­ers,” said Torchia, who also owns Wendy’s restau­rants in Sud­bury, North Bay, New Liskeard, Bar­rie, Oril­lia, Colling­wood, Al­lis­ton and Brad­ford. “I have to thank the peo­ple of Tim­mins for sup­port­ing us, and also our great staff, along with my ad­min­is­tra­tive team who help me run the en­tire com­pany from right here in Tim­mins.

“None of this hap­pens be­cause of me. I’m just sort of the quar­ter­back but I’ve got great peo­ple who work for me. I couldn’t do it on my own … Th­ese peo­ple right here. Those are the ones at the front-line mak­ing it work ev­ery day.

“Wendy’s menu has been known for fresh. Our beef is fresh. Our sal­ads are made ev­ery day – that’s what all those peo­ple back there are do­ing — they’re prep­ping meat, they’re mak­ing sal­ads, they’re get­ting all the top­pings ready for all the burg­ers and as you come through the drive-through or or­der, we make it fresh for you.”

He said he also owes a lot to his late fa­ther, John, who backed him and got him started in the busi­ness. “With­out him, I wouldn’t be where I am. He passed away about five years ago. He and I were part­ners when we first started,” said Torchia. “When we ex­panded our busi­ness to buy more stores, he was im­pressed by how well we were do­ing here and said, ‘Son, if you want me to back you, I’ll back you,’ and that’s what we did. We just grew and to this day we have 13 Wendy’s and we own five Bos­ton Piz­zas.” Wendy’s in Tim­mins will host its 25th-an­niver­sary re­grand open­ing on Wed­nes­day, Nov. 14.


Wendy’s is cel­e­brat­ing a mile­stone an­niver­sary, co­in­cid­ing with a ma­jor makeover of its Tim­mins restau­rant.


Mark Torchia, right, owner/op­er­a­tor of the Wendy’s restau­rant in Tim­mins, his staff and fam­ily wel­come ev­ery­one to cel­e­brate Wendy’s 25th an­niver­sary in Tim­mins.


Owner/op­er­a­tor Mark Torchia, cen­tre, was joined by Tim­mins Mayor Vic Power, left, and Torchia’s dad John, right, for a cake cut­ting held dur­ing Wendy’s grand open­ing in Tim­mins on Nov. 17, 1993. This is a photo of the front page ar­ti­cle that ap­peared in The Daily Press the fol­low­ing day.

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