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  A Focal Point 2016 Interview with Shelly Thobe

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Shelly Thobe is director of culinary and products innovation at The Wendy's Company. As a presenter at Focal Point 2016, she'll be discussing the innovation process, responsiveness to consumer needs and goals, and long-term opportunities.  Ahead of her presentation, we asked Shelly about initiatives at Wendy's and for a quick take on the biggest performance leap in paper-based food service ware. You can read a quick preview of Shelly's and other planned Focal Point presentations on the conference website.   

WIST:  Wendy's has some great responsibility initiatives ranging from animal welfare through quality food, environmental sustainability and supply chain practices. Please can you describe the impetus for these initiatives and how you go about continuously improving your efforts in these areas?  
Shelly Thobe
Shelly Thobe:  We're incredibly proud of the work we've done as it relates to our responsibility initiatives which range from how we treat our animals, to how efficiently we're operating our restaurants, to how we're helping children in the North American Foster Care system find families, and more.
This never-ending work and pursuit of continuous improvement is all driven by the legacy of our founder. When Dave Thomas founded Wendy's, he did so on a very simple principle by saying, "at Wendy's, we don't cut corners." And from this idea stemmed our core values to which everyone in the Wendy's Family holds themselves accountable.
I invite you to check out The Square Deal blog - it's a space where those in the Wendy's Family who are particularly passionate about our responsibility initiatives write about our point of view on the given issue. You'll find recent blogs about our values, animal welfare, antibiotics, energy efficiency, supply chain, and more.  They're written in a conversational yet candid way that gives readers a behind the scenes look at how Wendy's approaches all of these important issues:

WIST: Without giving away too much of the content of your presentation, what do you suggest would be the single biggest performance leap that would advance the use of paper-based food service ware in your restaurants?
Shelly Thobe:  Improvements in functionality and ease of use, while minding costs, is where the industry needs to place focus. The primary goal of packaging is to help maintain the integrity of the food and ensure the contents of the packaging remain to as high of quality as when the originated at the restaurant. No-fail packaging would be the biggest performance leap.

WIST:  Innovation in food service ware is seen as an opportunity to help manage and mitigate food waste. What is Wendy's doing to help reduce food waste both in its restaurants and with its carry-out customers?
Shelly Thobe:  Wendy's has been working towards solutions for food wastes. 100% of our restaurants recycling cooking oil for biodiesel. Additionally, we are working towards labeling our packaging that is recyclable.

Attend Focal Point 2016 to hear 9  accomplished industry professionals
  • Highlight the recovery of fiber from coated board and describe 
    food-contact-compliant recycled fiber
  • Present brand-owner perspectives on paper-based food packaging 
    and serviceware items
  • Provide insights from leading converting companies about future needs 
    and trends in paper and paperboard packaging
  • Describe a number of innovations targeting superior performance
  • Share insights on regulatory aspects of food contact papers
  • Update on standards and labeling for compostable paper products
Register online now for the early bird rate of $250.

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