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Wendy's stands by outlook amid transformation

Mar. 01, 2013 @ 12:00 AM

NEW YORK -- Wendy's is standing by its outlook for the year as it pushes ahead with restaurant remodeling plans intended to boost its image.

The company, based in Dublin, Ohio, says about 20 percent of its U.S. locations will be remodeled by 2015. The new look, which includes comfortable seating areas and flat-screen TVs, is intended to have a more inviting feel and is part of the company's goal of positioning itself on the higher end of the fast-food industry.

Wendy's has about 6,500 locations, primarily in North America.

In a conference call with analysts, Chief Financial Officer Steve Hare said sales at established restaurants in the first quarter of the year are off to a solid start after a modest performance a year ago. He declined to provide details, but the company said the new "Right Price, Right Size" value menu is resonating with customers.

Ohio self-employment at lowest level since '01

DAYTON, Ohio -- Ohio's number of self-employed residents is at its lowest level since 2001, and its rate of self-employed workers is among the lowest in the nation, according to an analysis of recent economic data.

Only about 5.6 percent of Ohio's more than 5.5 million workers are self-employed, which is a lower rate than all but eight other states, the Dayton Daily News reported Thursday. The data analyzed by the newspaper show Delaware with the lowest share of self-employed workers at 4.1 percent, with Vermont having the highest at 10.4 percent.

The number of Ohioans going into business for themselves has declined partly because traditional self-employment industries such as construction and real estate were devastated by the recession and have been slow to recover, according to the newspaper.

Some economists also say the state's economy and job growth is concentrated in fields that are not ideal for self-employment.

US Airways flight attendants approve contract for merger

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Flight attendants at US Airways approved a new contract on Thursday that wraps up some unfinished business from the airline's 2005 merger with America West, and gets them started on the next merger, with American.

Eighty percent of flight attendants voted to approve the deal, according to the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA. They had rejected two previous tentative agreements, although the most recent vote in September was very close. The new deal includes terms that address the proposed merger with American Airlines.

US Airways said that within 30 days, talks will begin to lay out a plan for a combined contract to cover flight attendants at US Airways and American. Those four-way talks will include both airlines and both flight attendant unions.

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