McDonald’s (MCD) and Burger King (BKW) need to get up and make room for their little sister, Wendy’s (WEN), as the revitalized burger chain has been named restaurant of the year by YahooFinance’s “The Exchange.” Through a careful image makeover, expansion of its value menu and the launch of new consumer favorites like the Pretzel Bacon Cheeseburger, the company will post a share price gain of more than 80 percent for 2013. That’s combining fast food with a fast buck. And that could be just the beginning, as Wendy’s is also restructuring its unit ownership model by selling off corporate owned stores to franchisees. While that initially cuts into corporate margins, it makes projecting royalties far easier and far more consistent. And that’s the kind of business decision making that will make 2014 perhaps even better for investors.
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