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Wendy’s opens ‘innovation lab’ to foster tech ideas

As a venue for employees to identify new ways of connecting with customers through technology, Wendy’s today opened 90° Labs, a 8,200-square-foot-plus facility in Columbus, Ohio, that will house a staff of information technology and operations professionals.

Similar to the West Coast “learning lab” McDonald’s announced last year, 90° Labs will center its initial efforts on service processes, such as mobile ordering and mobile payment, and upgrading the customer experience.

Located near The Ohio State University, the facility contains a simulated Wendy’s restaurant and moveable workstations, and was designed to foster collaboration.

With its proximity to the university, which is a few miles from Wendy’s Dublin, Ohio, headquarters, the lab hopes to glean creative energy from the campus environment, said Drew Domecq, vice president of Enterprise Solutions, which will manage the daily operations at 90° Labs.

"Our goal is to create an agile working environment, with a dedicated cross-functional team, that will enable us to take greater advantage of rapidly evolving technology in all areas of our business," Emil Brolick, Wendy’s CEO, said in a statement. "The labs will be an important asset in Wendy's continuing transformation, as we work to drive growth by making our restaurants more inviting and by giving consumers greater access to our brand through technology."

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