Tollestrup Restaurants “adapt to thinking smaller” with latest restaurant conversion in Alberta, Canada
You could easily miss Redcliff, Alberta during a scan of Google Maps. But Tollestrup Restaurants Operator Sarah Tollestrup had her eye on it for three years. In particular, a piece of property that sits 200 meters off the bustling Trans-Canada Highway. On it sits a busy gas station and now – a Wendy’s. It’s the newest of Tollestrup’s seven Wendy’s in Alberta.
With several QSR restaurant brands housed along the Trans-Canada Highway just north of Redcliff, putting the Wendy’s in town distinguishes it from competitors. “There’s not much else in town, restaurant-wise,” Sarah says. “It’s nice because we’ll get highway traffic and local residents can walk to us.”
“I’m really excited for Wendy’s to be in Redcliff and to be growing in small towns. We’ve adapted to thinking smaller. If another opportunity comes up, we’ll definitely add another restaurant.”
Formerly a local chicken concept called Bubba Clucks, the gas station’s restaurant space offered many attractive features and challenged Tollestrup’s traditional thinking about a building’s footprint.
“Wendy’s has been great recently at innovating their design concepts,” Sarah says. “Before, maybe this conversion wouldn’t have worked because we would’ve needed 50 seats and two pick-up windows.” Instead, the Redcliff Wendy’s has one pick-up window and 20 seats in the dining room.
“The space was already a restaurant, so we didn’t want to make massive changes. The dry storage is a little different than we’re used to, so that’s an adjustment for people who have worked at Wendy’s for a long time. But I’m confident the team will adjust quickly.”
Tollestrup hired 21 team members for the Redcliff restaurant prior to its opening. After the local newspaper ran a story about Wendy’s coming to Redcliff, Sarah says she received 20 resumes within an hour. And interest from high school students was especially strong.
Agnes Resultay, General Manager of the Wendy’s in Medicine Hat, Alberta, has also been appointed Multi-Unit Manager in Redcliff. “She’s been with Wendy’s for 13 years, so this enables her to grow into a multi-unit role,” Sarah says.
“I’m really excited for Wendy’s to be in Redcliff and to be growing in small towns,” shares Sarah. “We’ve adapted to thinking smaller. If another opportunity comes up, we’ll definitely add another restaurant.”
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