Wendy's (NASDAQ: WEN) has a tradition of being a socially responsible company dating back to its earliest days.
Because of that, each year, the fast food chain releases a report detailing its efforts in that area. In its latest edition, the company highlighted its Supplier Code of Conduct and its new, stronger antibiotics policy along with many other initiatives.
"Forty-seven years after Dave Thomas founded Wendy's, we remain passionately committed to his ideals and values," said CEO Todd Penegor in a press release. "We came together strongly with our employees and franchisees in 2016 to bring Dave's vision to life: to serve food we are proud of, provide thousands of people with employment opportunities, and raise funds and awareness to help the 130,000 children waiting in foster care find their forever families through adoption."
What is Wendy's doing?
Wendy's breaks down its efforts into three categories, "food," "family," and "community." It laid out a number of accomplishments across those three areas in the report. In "food," there was the aforementioned Code of Conduct, which launched in early 2016, and the stronger antibiotics policy under which is will shift to buying only chicken raised without "antibiotics important to human health" by the end of 2017, as well as a commitment to only use cage-free eggs on the same timetable, and set out new policies for beef and pork.
In "community" Wendy's has continued its work to help find homes for the 130,000 children in foster care. That has been the company's signature charitable focus since 1992. In addition, the chain has continued to work toward its goal of improving energy efficiency by reducing the amount of energy used per transaction in company-owned and operated restaurants by 20% by 2025.
Lastly, in "family," among other things, Wendy's has partnered with GetSchooled, a nonprofit organization created to "empower and engage learners with the tools they need to succeed." Together, they have created a platform that provides Wendy's employees and their their families "free access to academic advisors and coaches to assist with starting or going back to school, planning for college and finding financial resources."
Wendy's deserves credit
While most companies of this size have programs that involve helping the communities around them, Wendy's has gone above and beyond. While some of these moves can also be seen as business drivers, the company does not get the credit its fast-casual rivals do when it comes to food-quality issues, nor does it receive the acclaim for its efforts to help kids get adopted that it rightly deserves.
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Daniel Kline has no position in any stocks mentioned.