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Customer Stories

The Wendys Company

Location: Alabama

Industry: Hospitality

Products Used: Chillers, Controls,

Services Used: Energy Efficiency Contracting,

Climate: Humid & Hot

Topic: Efficiency,

Columbus ohio commercial photographer tom dubanowich photographed the new Wendy's design store in Hiliard, 4245 Cemetery Rd.


With an average company-operated Wendy’s restaurant using an equivalent of 616,000 kWh of energy annually, or approximately the consumption of fifty-six U.S. homes, the company made a commitment to reduce energy use to lower costs and align with their journey as a responsible corporate citizen. Wendy’s began by analyzing energy data from its restaurants to determine their biggest savings opportunities. “You can’t really change or improve something you aren’t measuring,” said Scott Moline, Manager of Project Engineering for The Wendy's Company. “So we took a step back to monitor our energy use to enable our operators and franchisees to fully understand where we were using the most energy and how much we were using.”

By converting to LED lighting and upgrading its walk-in cooler motors, Wendy’s was able to make substantial reductions in energy consumption. “However, the biggest percentages of energy use in our restaurants could be attributed to our HVAC systems, and our kitchen,” said Moline. "So there were plenty of opportunities to save energy and reduce operating costs."


Wendy’s commissioned a cross-functional team that included Trane, Halton Hoods, and Wendy’s design,  construction, and equipment engineering teams, along with Wendy's QSCC buying cooperative. The group evaluated the HVAC systems and kitchen hoods to determine the energy savings that could be achieved with a redesign.

Evaluating equipment needs
The team found that new hoods were available that required 29 percent less ventilation. Trane and engineering consultants also determined that using Trane Voyager™ rooftop units with eFlex™ variable-speed compressors and fans would eliminate the need for a dedicated make up air unit, allowing Wendy’s to go from three units on the roof to two. In addition, by precisely matching output to cooling demands, the efficient eFlex technology could also help Wendy’s substantially reduce energy consumption.

Validating the new design
To validate efficiency of the new system design, a test was arranged with The Wendyco Group, a franchisee restaurant in Mobile, AL, to compare before and after energy consumption.  The franchisee already had plans to scrape and rebuild two restaurants. One had the old design with two high efficiency Trane units and a dedicated make-up air unit. The other was equipped with new kitchen hoods and two Trane® Voyager™ rooftop units with eFlex™ variable-speed compressors. For the first eight months, energy use at the control site was down 13 percent year-over-year, but the upgraded site was down 24 percent! “Trane provided great support in this first test of the HVAC system. We are very pleased with the units and how they are operating," said Ivan Blackmon, Director of Facilities and Construction for The Wendco Group.

Repeating the design success
Based on the successful testing, Wendy’s® retrofit a location near Columbus, OH, with Trane Voyager rooftops with eFlex variable-speed compressors and new hoods, reducing the rooftop unit energy use by more than 60 percent during the first two months of operation. "Being able to demonstrate and celebrate the energy savings with the new HVAC and hood system has been a real pleasure. Seeing 10 percent or more reduction in the total restaurant energy use is great for the company and the environment," said Scott Moline.


The Trane Voyager rooftop units with eFlex variable speed compressors are now standard for new Wendy's company operated and franchise locations going forward. "We want to thank everyone at Trane for helping Wendy's in our journey to 20 percent energy reduction," said Moline.