By KELTON BROOKS
When the Wendy's closed down four months ago, the store's general manager, Beatriz Moncada, thought it was a bit worn out and needed a fresh start. But when she received a phone call from the store owner and president, Gary Reiman, she said she was a little skeptical at first because she didn't know what to expect.
And now, four months later, the stylish and remodeled Wendy's is now accustomed to seeing the line wrapped around the building, and has broken hourly, daily, weekly and area sales marks.
"I still can't believe it," Moncada said.
Along Kansas Avenue stands the modern, tier one brand and image activation Wendy's that Reiman said was "years in the making."
"It's a beautiful store, and we have been working on the concept for five or six years and came up with this one," Reiman said.
Reiman, who started out working at Wendy's in 1978 as a hamburger cooker, now owns more than 15 Wendy's, and some even in international markets.
"This store has been doing so well, and we have been fortunate to have a structure like this in Garden City because the city wants business. I've been so impressed with everything. It has been a joy to do business here," he said.
The full glass window facing the street, the decorative holiday ornaments and wreaths, a patio — that will have umbrellas during the summer — has even captured the attention of those on social media. Two people responded to The Telegram's Facebook account describing the Wendy's as "fancy."
One of the fancy installations is the new soda machines that contain more than 200 flavors.
"Whatever you want, you name it," Moncada said. "A lot of people like the different flavors. It's free-styled."
Manuel Rodriguez responded to The Telegram's Facebook account saying, "I like it in a way because you get in and you're like 'wow.' More space for the customers and for the employees when they are in back preparing the meals. Seating is pretty comfortable. The soda machine is pretty complicated, but I guess it's the new thing. It's cool that you get thousands of choices to choose from, which I like. Dr. Pepper cherry is my favorite. In general, I think it is way too nice for a fast joint."
The inside holds restaurant-stlye seating, one counter to place your order, and another counter to pick up your order, holiday nativities dangling from the ceiling, free Wi-Fi, and of course, two of the multi-flavored soda machines.
Another new edition to Wendy's is something most fast-food restaurants are beginning to adopt, a double lane drive-thru.
"At first it was kind of difficult because of the limited parking space, but other than that, it has been working really good and made things move faster, but it's a challenge," Moncada said as she laughed.
The remodeling of Wendy's has also created more job opportunities. Moncada said the management team kept 15 employees from the old Wendy's, but now has a staff of 40 to 50.
"I'm really grateful for all the help we received from the management team. They took care of us, and Gary did all he could to make sure we had what we needed too," Moncada said.