McDonald’s is Spending Big on Ads as Wendy’s Expands East in St. Thomas


St. Thomas — The snappy, freckle-faced, redhead is making Four Winds Plaza its new home. Wendy’s is expanding further east in St. Thomas, and the move has prompted McDonald’s to launch what might actually be one of its most costly marketing campaigns in the territory.

Using its extremely popular social pages, Wendy’s has begun pushing the envelope in a less traditional way. Cities in the U.S. commonly run huge ads on their fleet of busses to subsidize the cost commuters pay to ride busses, trains or monorails.

McDonald’s started partnering with local taxi drivers on St. Thomas last year by placing targeted advertisements on safaris around the island. The new ad campaign might seem really important for the largest fast food chain on the globe, but here’s why McDonald’s might feel a little threatened by a Wendy’s expansion in St. Thomas.


Wendy’s is superior in social media campaigns, and doesn’t need to splash safaris with ads to win over customer satisfaction. I mean, have you ever seen a Wendy’s roast on Twitter? The company’s freckled mascot really goes all in, making a habit of mentioning rival food chains on Twitter and even — playfully — bullying them for selling crappy food.

FirstBank VI has also joined McDonald’s, splashing a few safaris on St. Thomas with branded ads. Advertisements on safaris isn’t new, but these new ads are bold and exclusive. Other companies won’t be able to pile more ads onto a McDonald’s branded taxi cab, and that may the whole point of this new push for the fast food chain.

Expect the new location in Four Winds Plaza to have a modern design, as Wendy’s continues its push to “upgrade at least 70% of its North American store base” to a sleek, contemporary design by 2020 according to a Wendy’s spokesperson.

McDonald’s and Subway continue to spend a sizable amount of cash on ad networks like Google, Facebook and YouTube to reach potential customers in the Virgin Islands.

Wendy’s even dropped a surprise mixtape titled We Beefin last March — and yes, it was amazing.

The driveway is huge, wrapping around the entire building to avoid congestion in the plaza with an incline for cars to climb to pick up their order. Wendy’s is slowly encroaching on territory long claimed by McDonald’s and Subway, both recognized as the two largest fast food chains in the world.

And they are also the two most common fast food chains in the territory. This is the second time Wendy’s has had two locations on St. Thomas, the first location on the Waterfront adjacent to Greenhouse closed years ago.

Since the new restaurant was built as a standalone location within the Four Winds parking lot, its likely to sport the new look on opening day.

McDonald’s has three restaurant locations in St. Thomas and two on St. Croix. Subway has three restaurant locations in St. Croix and four more in St. Thomas that receive heavy traffic during lunch hours.

Pro tip: You can view ‘popular times’ for any business listed on Google Maps, it event tell you how long people typically spend at the location. Google Maps can tell you how long you might spend in Subway or McDonald’s ordering your next meal.

Source: Google Maps

There’s also new Autozone is being built near the entrance of PriceSmart set to join the lucrative car repair industry on each island and a brand new gas station is being built in the middle of Weymouth Rhymer Highway. With a powerful competitor like Autozone entering the market, car repairs are set to get much cheaper as rivals compete with lower prices.

Pizza Hut also expanded east recently, replacing their aging Raphune Hill location almost two years ago and closing their Waterfront location.  The pizza chain has slimmed down its operations and opted to focus on one restaurant for now. More fast food chains are coming, and the news could be a game changer for Tutu Park Mall in 2019.

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