Wendy’s Organizational Structure Characteristics (An Analysis)

Wendy’s organizational structure characteristics, company corporate structure advantages and disadvantages, food-service business analysis case study
A Wendy’s restaurant in Japan. Wendy’s organizational structure (business structure) supports corporate control in the fast-food restaurant chain. (Photo: Public Domain)

Wendy’s organizational structure is relatively simple compared to those of other large fast-food restaurant companies. The organizational structure defines the arrangement of the company’s components and specifies the patterns of interaction among these components. Wendy’s corporate structure has remained largely the same through the years. Despite minor reforms, the company focuses on corporate control through its structure. As one of the world’s biggest fast-food restaurant chains, the company carefully implements global expansion strategies. These strategies are effectively applied and supported through Wendy’s organizational structure.

Wendy’s employs its organizational structure to maximize operational effectiveness. However, some changes may be necessary to maintain the structure’s support for global expansion and competitiveness against other fast-food companies, such as Burger King and McDonald’s, as well as coffeehouse chains, like Starbucks. A well-designed company structure facilitates the application and benefits of the core competencies and business strengths enumerated in the SWOT analysis of Wendy’s.

Features of Wendy’s Organizational Structure

Wendy’s has a functional organizational structure. This company structure uses business functions as bases for grouping resources and activities. Instead of having geographic divisions, the company uses a centralized management structure. The following are the prominent characteristics of Wendy’s organizational structure:

  1. Corporate function-based groups
  2. Global hierarchy
  3. Local teams

Corporate Function-Based Groups. Wendy’s has centralized function-based groups for the entire global organization. For example, the company has a legal department, an accounting department, and a marketing department. This feature of Wendy’s organizational structure provides the basic mechanism to address business functions. The activities of each of these groups affect the company’s operations worldwide. The food-service company’s corporate directives and policies originate from these groups. For example, Wendy’s generic competitive strategies and intensive growth strategies are developed through decisions in these corporate departments of the company structure.

Global Hierarchy. This characteristic of Wendy’s organizational structure involves vertical lines of authority, command, and communication. For example, concerns are escalated from franchisees and regional offices to the corporate headquarters. In this way, the corporate structure supports global control of the business and facilitates Wendy’s operations management objectives. This structural feature also shows the traditional nature of the restaurant company’s organizational design.

Local Teams. Teams are part of Wendy’s, especially at the level of local operations, which are at the bottom of the organizational structure. For example, the company’s restaurants use teams for daily operations. These teams are flexible units that support fluctuations in the company’s daily operations. The development and activities of these teams are based on corporate standards and the goals of Wendy’s mission and vision.

Wendy’s Organizational Structure: Advantages & Disadvantages

The main advantage of Wendy’s organizational structure is its support for control of global operations. The centralization of the function-based groups or departments enables effective implementation of policies and strategies throughout the multinational food-service business organization. Also, this corporate structure supports Wendy’s current strategic aims for growth and expansion in the international market. However, the lack of structural flexibility may hinder international growth and prove to be a disadvantage of this organizational structure. The food-service company’s centralized management structure does not easily enable changes at the local or regional levels. This condition may impose challenges to growing Wendy’s operations in markets outside North America, which has been the focus of the business.


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