October 2021 marked the beginning of a new era in Spark’s history. From being the owner and operator of 8 Buffalo Wild Wings, Spark became a major partner of the top-tier brand Wendy’s with the acquisition of a total of 68 units by the end of 2021.
This huge purchase came with no small amount of challenges, namely labor challenges and environmental economic factors - one of the most important being aligning with Wendy’s latest brand strategy: the Image Activation Plan.
This plan entails bringing San Antonio and Dayton markets 100% Image Activated by 2024. Not two weeks after acquiring the first 64 Wendy’s units in Texas and Ohio, Spark started the process of remodeling all of them, starting with unit #1044 in San Antonio, TX.
At the time of the purchase, these units located in San Antonio and Dayton markets were roughly only about 50% Image Activated. By the end of 2022, Spark had completed 12 Refresh Lite remodels with another 12 projects scheduled for 2023 and 6 more in 2024, in order to finally bring Spark restaurants to a 100% Image Activated.
“I LOVE A CHALLENGE”
Spark’s CEO & founder
Spark has made huge investments to comply with Wendy’s Image Activation Plan due to several reasons:
First, to prove Spark’s commitment as a reliable brand partner by executing the completion of a total of 30 refreshed LITES by 2024. Spark’s Track Record of Investment is a testament to the Wendy's brand goals and a confirmation that every store acquired by Spark in the future will be managed in alignment with the brand's ambitions. Our restaurants are brand building ambassadors and we take pride in helping the brand move forward, because we know that if we win as part of the franchisee system we all win!
Second, to offer our employees –the real Spark that lights the engine of the company– a fresh, new and inviting place to work where they feel comfortable and happy in their everyday labor and growth process. Also, by upgrading assets, it is possible for our managers to recruit and retain the best of the best.
Third, to Spark ahead of the trend by operating in beautiful units that always look best on the block and enhance the presence of the brand in the market they are in. So far, the company has already experienced an increase in sales related to the Image Activation Plan. All Spark units immediately catch the eye of passers-by that want to try out the Spark experience: a combination of brand new and refreshing visuals and top-notch attention and service.
Improvements in infrastructure go along with Spark’s commitment to its brand partners, team members and guests as they consistently strive to also make a difference in operations and team culture. With all of this taken into account, it is no wonder that Spark has ranked so well in the Franchisee Times Restaurant 200 this year, amongst the biggest Franchisee Owner’s in the US. Coming in at position 125 out of 200 in the whole nation is a huge achievement for Spark, which only goes to show how resilience and hard work pay off.
Passion and loyalty don’t happen overnight, it’s not a flip of a switch. The Spark Team is steadily building this up over time by Sparking A Difference in the industry and in each team member’s life.
Dayton’s remodels are about to start this November and soon the company will have more news to share! A special recognition must be given to Protech, a Texas-based commercial construction company with 35+ years of experience in the industry, which so far has carried out all Spark remodels from the San Antonio and Dayton markets in record time and will continue to do so until 2024.
Together we Spark brighter!