A New Credit Card Breach Hits Wendy’s?

February 1, 2016         By: Steven Anderson

It’s the third largest burger chain in the United States, but the news to emerge recently isn’t particularly appetizing.

A new report suggests that Wendy’s might have fallen prey to a credit card breach, and an investigation is currently underway on this point.

A “pattern of fraud,” according to word from Krebs on Security, was the biggest driver of the investigation, as said pattern was discovered on cards recently used at Wendy’s locations.

To that end, Wendy’s has already hired a cybersecurity firm to pursue the matter, and thankfully, the breach doesn’t seem to range particular far back. Reports suggest the issues started up late last year, and is affecting a certain number of restaurants. Exact scope is as yet unclear, and given that Wendy’s has around 5,700 locations to its credit currently, that could be a particular problem.

The breach seems focused on the midwestern part of the United States, though again, further breaches could emerge elsewhere. Some incidents have already been seen on the East Coast, so suggesting it’s a localized phenomenon may not be a good idea. This is bad news for Wendy’s, who had recently seen a same-store sales increase of 3.1 percent in its third quarter.

News of a data breach is never welcome, but all reports suggest that Wendy’s is handling this the right way. Word is out, so those potentially affected know to start watching credit card statements particularly closely for the next few months, and make plans accordingly.

While it’s too early for Wendy’s to start offering identity fraud protection services, it’s at least running the investigations, so when the time comes it will likely do right by its customer base lest said customers abandon the restaurant altogether.

Considering that Wendy’s is number three with likely aspirations of the top slot, it can’t afford to lose ground, especially when McDonald’s has been showing weakness lately.

So there’s still some time before Wendy’s has to be seen doing the right thing. There may not even be much of a problem, if at all; the credit cards discussed could have been breached some other way. In the end, though, it’s Wendy’s reaction to this issue that will mean the most.