|Summary of Significant Accounting Policies
The Wendy’s Company (“The Wendy’s Company” and, together with its subsidiaries, the “Company,” “we,” “us,” or “our”) is the parent company of its 100% owned subsidiary holding company, Wendy’s Restaurants, LLC (“Wendy’s Restaurants”). Wendy’s Restaurants is the parent company of Wendy’s International, LLC and its subsidiaries (“Wendy’s”). Wendy’s franchises and operates Wendy’s quick-service restaurants specializing in hamburger sandwiches throughout the United States of America (“U.S.”) and also franchises Wendy’s quick-service restaurants in 30 foreign countries and U.S. territories. At January 3, 2021, Wendy’s operated and franchised 361 and 6,467 restaurants, respectively.
The Company manages and internally reports its business in the following segments: (1) Wendy’s U.S., (2) Wendy’s International and (3) Global Real Estate & Development. See Note 26 for further information.
Principles of Consolidation
The accompanying consolidated financial statements have been prepared in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America (“GAAP”) and include all of the Company’s subsidiaries. We also consider for consolidation entities in which we have certain interests, where the controlling financial interest may be achieved through arrangements that do not involve voting interests. Such an entity, known as a variable interest entity (“VIE”), is required to be consolidated by its primary beneficiary. The primary beneficiary is the entity that possesses the power to direct the activities of the VIE that most significantly impact its economic performance and has the obligation to absorb losses or the right to receive benefits from the VIE that are significant to it. The principal entities in which we possess a variable interest include the Company’s national advertising funds for the U.S. and Canada (the “Advertising Funds”). All intercompany balances and transactions have been eliminated in consolidation.
The preparation of consolidated financial statements in conformity with GAAP requires management to make estimates and assumptions that affect the reported amounts of assets and liabilities and disclosure of contingent assets and liabilities at the date of the consolidated financial statements and the reported amount of revenues and expenses during the reporting period. Actual results could differ materially from those estimates.
On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization declared the novel strain of coronavirus (“COVID-19”) a global pandemic and recommended containment and mitigation measures worldwide. We continue to monitor the dynamic nature of the COVID-19 pandemic on our business, results and financial condition; however, we cannot predict the ultimate duration, scope or severity of the COVID-19 pandemic or its ultimate impact on our results of operations, financial condition and prospects.
Certain reclassifications have been made to the prior year presentation to conform to the current year presentation.
The Company’s fiscal reporting periods consist of 52 or 53 weeks ending on the Sunday closest to December 31 and are referred to herein as (1) “the year ended January 3, 2021” or “2020,” which consisted of 53 weeks, (2) “the year ended December 29, 2019” or “2019,” which consisted of 52 weeks, and (3) “the year ended December 30, 2018” or “2018,” which consisted of 52 weeks. All references to years, quarters and months relate to fiscal periods rather than calendar periods.
Cash and Cash Equivalents
All highly liquid investments with a maturity of three months or less when acquired are considered cash equivalents. The Company’s cash and cash equivalents principally consist of cash in bank and money market mutual fund accounts and are primarily not in Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation insured accounts.
We believe that our vulnerability to risk concentrations in our cash equivalents is mitigated by (1) our policies restricting the eligibility, credit quality and concentration limits for our placements in cash equivalents and (2) insurance from the Securities Investor Protection Corporation of up to $500 per account, as well as supplemental private insurance coverage maintained by substantially all of our brokerage firms, to the extent our cash equivalents are held in brokerage accounts.
In accordance with the Company’s securitized financing facility, certain cash accounts have been established with the trustee for the benefit of the trustee and the noteholders and are restricted in their use. Such restricted cash primarily represents cash collections and cash reserves held by the trustee to be used for payments of principal, interest and commitment fees required for the Company’s senior secured notes. Restricted cash also includes cash collected by the Advertising Funds, usage of which is restricted for advertising activities and is included in “Advertising funds restricted assets.” Refer to Note 7 for further information.
Accounts and Notes Receivable, Net
Accounts and notes receivable, net, consist primarily of royalties, rents, property taxes and franchise fees due principally from franchisees, credit card receivables, insurance receivables and refundable income taxes. Reserve estimates include consideration of the likelihood of default expected over the estimated life of the receivable. The Company periodically assesses the need for an allowance for doubtful accounts on its receivables based upon several key credit quality indicators such as outstanding past due balances, the financial strength of the obligor, the estimated fair value of any underlying collateral and agreement characteristics.
We believe that our vulnerability to risk concentrations in our receivables is mitigated by (1) favorable historical collectability on past due balances, (2) recourse to the underlying collateral regarding sales-type and direct financing lease receivables, and (3) our expectations for fluctuations in general market conditions. Receivables are considered delinquent once they are contractually past due under the terms of the underlying agreements. As of January 3, 2021, there were no material receivables more than one year past due.
The Company’s inventories are stated at the lower of cost or net realizable value, with cost determined in accordance with the first-in, first-out method and consist primarily of restaurant food items and paper supplies.
Properties and Depreciation and Amortization
Properties are stated at cost, including capitalized internal costs of employees to the extent such employees are dedicated to specific restaurant construction projects, less accumulated depreciation and amortization. Depreciation and amortization of properties is computed principally on the straight-line basis using the following estimated useful lives of the related major classes of properties: 3 to 20 years for office and restaurant equipment (including technology), 3 to 15 years for transportation equipment and 7 to 30 years for buildings and improvements. When the Company commits to a plan to cease using certain properties before the end of their estimated useful lives, depreciation expense is accelerated to reflect the use of the assets over their shortened useful lives. Leasehold improvements are amortized over the shorter of their estimated useful lives or the terms of the respective leases, including periods covered by renewal options that the Company is reasonably assured of exercising.
The Company reviews properties for impairment whenever events or changes in circumstances indicate that the carrying amount of an asset group may not be recoverable. If such review indicates an asset group may not be recoverable, an impairment loss is recognized for the excess of the carrying amount over the fair value of an asset group to be held and used or over the fair value less cost to sell of an asset to be disposed. See “Impairment of Long-Lived Assets” below for further information.
The Company classifies assets as held for sale and ceases depreciation of the assets when there is a plan for disposal of the assets and those assets meet the held for sale criteria. Assets held for sale are included in “Prepaid expenses and other current assets” in the consolidated balance sheets.
Goodwill, representing the excess of the cost of an acquired entity over the fair value of the acquired net assets, is not amortized. Goodwill associated with our Company-operated restaurants is reduced as a result of restaurant dispositions based on the relative fair values and is included in the carrying value of the restaurant in determining the gain or loss on disposal. If a Company-operated restaurant is sold within two years of being acquired from a franchisee, the goodwill associated with the acquisition is written off in its entirety. Goodwill has been assigned to reporting units for purposes of impairment testing. The Company tests goodwill for impairment annually during the fourth quarter, or more frequently if events or changes in circumstances indicate that the asset may be impaired. Our annual impairment test of goodwill may be completed through a qualitative assessment to determine if the fair value of the reporting unit is more likely than not greater than the carrying amount. If we elect to bypass the qualitative assessment for any reporting units, or if a qualitative assessment indicates it is more likely than not that the estimated carrying value of a reporting unit exceeds its fair value, we perform a quantitative goodwill impairment test. Under the quantitative test, the fair value of the reporting unit is compared with its carrying value (including goodwill). If the carrying value of the reporting unit exceeds its fair value, an impairment loss is recognized in an amount equal to that excess, limited to the total amount of goodwill allocated to that reporting unit. Our critical estimates in this impairment test include future sales growth, operating profit, income tax rates, terminal value growth rates, capital expenditures and the weighted average cost of capital (discount rate).
Our fair value estimates are subject to change as a result of many factors including, among others, any changes in our business plans, changing economic conditions and the competitive environment. Should actual cash flows and our future estimates vary adversely from those estimates we use, we may be required to recognize goodwill impairment charges in future years.
Impairment of Long-Lived Assets
Our long-lived assets include (1) properties and related definite-lived intangible assets (e.g., favorable leases) that are leased and/or subleased to franchisees, (2) Company-operated restaurant assets and related definite-lived intangible assets, which include reacquired rights under franchise agreements, and (3) finance and operating lease assets.
We review our long-lived assets for impairment whenever events or changes in circumstances indicate that the carrying amount of an asset may not be recoverable. We assess the recoverability of our long-lived assets by comparing the carrying amount of the asset group to future undiscounted net cash flows expected to be generated through leases and/or subleases or by our individual Company-operated restaurants. If the carrying amount of the long-lived asset group is not recoverable on an undiscounted cash flow basis, then impairment is recognized to the extent that the carrying amount exceeds its fair value and is included in “Impairment of long-lived assets.” Our critical estimates in this review process include the anticipated future cash flows from leases and/or subleases or individual Company-operated restaurants, which is used in assessing the recoverability of the respective long-lived assets.
Our fair value estimates are subject to change as a result of many factors including, among others, any changes in our business plans, changing economic conditions and the competitive environment. Should actual cash flows and our future estimates vary adversely from those estimates we used, we may be required to recognize additional impairment charges in future years.
Other Intangible Assets
Definite-lived intangible assets are amortized on a straight-line basis using the following estimated useful lives of the related classes of intangibles: for favorable leases, the terms of the respective leases, including periods covered by renewal options that the Company as lessor is reasonably certain the tenant will exercise; 1 to 5 years for computer software; 4 to 20 years for reacquired rights under franchise agreements; and 20 years for franchise agreements. Trademarks have an indefinite life and are not amortized.
The Company reviews definite-lived intangible assets for impairment whenever events or changes in circumstances indicate that the carrying amount of the intangible asset may not be recoverable. Indefinite-lived intangible assets are tested for impairment at least annually, or more frequently if events or changes in circumstances indicate that the assets may be impaired. Our annual impairment test for indefinite-lived intangible assets may be completed through a qualitative assessment to determine if the fair value of the indefinite-lived intangible assets is more likely than not greater than the carrying amount. If we elect to bypass the qualitative assessment, or if a qualitative assessment indicates it is more likely than not that the estimated carrying value exceeds the fair value, we test for impairment using a quantitative process. If the Company determines that impairment of its intangible assets may exist, the amount of impairment loss is measured as the excess of carrying value over fair value. Our estimates in the determination of the fair value of indefinite-lived intangible assets include the anticipated future revenues of Company-operated and franchised restaurants and the resulting cash flows.
The Company has a 50% share in a partnership in a Canadian restaurant real estate joint venture (“TimWen”) with a subsidiary of Restaurant Brands International Inc., a quick-service restaurant company that owns the Tim Hortons® brand (Tim Hortons is a registered trademark of Tim Hortons USA Inc.). In addition, the Company has a 20% share in a joint venture in Brazil (the “Brazil JV”). The Company has significant influence over these investees. Such investments are accounted for using the equity method, under which our results of operations include our share of the income (loss) of the investees in “Other operating income, net.” Other investments in equity securities, including investments in limited partnerships, in which the Company does not have significant influence, and for which there is not a readily determinable fair value, are recorded at cost, less any impairment, plus or minus changes resulting from observable price changes in orderly transactions for an identical or similar investment of the same issuer. Realized gains and losses are reported as income or loss in the period in which the securities are sold or otherwise disposed. Cash distributions and dividends received that are determined to be returns of capital are recorded as a reduction of the carrying value of our investments and returns on our investments are recorded to “Investment (loss) income, net.”
The difference between the carrying value of our TimWen equity investment and the underlying equity in the historical net assets of the investee is accounted for as if the investee were a consolidated subsidiary. Accordingly, the carrying value difference is amortized over the estimated lives of the assets of the investee to which such difference would have been allocated if the equity investment were a consolidated subsidiary. To the extent the carrying value difference represents goodwill, it is not amortized.
The Company has granted share-based compensation awards to certain employees under several equity plans (the “Equity Plans”). The Company measures the cost of employee services received in exchange for an equity award, which include grants of employee stock options and restricted shares, based on the fair value of the award at the date of grant. Share-based compensation expense is recognized net of estimated forfeitures, determined based on historical experience. The Company recognizes share-based compensation expense over the requisite service period unless the awards are subject to performance conditions, in which case we recognize compensation expense over the requisite service period to the extent performance conditions are considered probable. The Company determines the grant date fair value of stock options using a Black-Scholes-Merton option pricing model (the “Black-Scholes Model”). The grant date fair value of restricted share awards (“RSAs”), restricted share units (“RSUs”) and performance-based awards are determined using the fair market value of the Company’s common stock on the date of grant, as set forth in the applicable plan document, unless the awards are subject to market conditions, in which case we use a Monte Carlo simulation model. The Monte Carlo simulation model utilizes multiple input variables to estimate the probability that market conditions will be achieved.
Foreign Currency Translation
The Company’s primary foreign operations are in Canada where the functional currency is the Canadian dollar. Financial statements of foreign subsidiaries are prepared in their functional currency and then translated into U.S. dollars. Assets and liabilities are translated at the exchange rate as of the balance sheet date and revenues, costs and expenses are translated at a monthly average exchange rate. Net gains or losses resulting from the translation are recorded to the “Foreign currency translation adjustment” component of “Accumulated other comprehensive loss.” Gains and losses arising from the impact of foreign currency exchange rate fluctuations on transactions in foreign currency are included in “General and administrative.”
The Company accounts for income taxes under the asset and liability method. A deferred tax asset or liability is recognized whenever there are (1) future tax effects from temporary differences between the financial statement carrying amounts of existing assets and liabilities and their respective tax bases and (2) operating loss, capital loss and tax credit carryforwards. Deferred tax assets and liabilities are measured using enacted tax rates expected to apply to the years in which those differences are expected to be recovered or settled.
Deferred tax assets are recognized to the extent the Company believes these assets will more likely than not be realized. In evaluating the realizability of deferred tax assets, the Company considers all available positive and negative evidence, including the interaction and the timing of future reversals of existing temporary differences, projected future taxable income, recent operating results and tax-planning strategies. When considered necessary, a valuation allowance is recorded to reduce the carrying amount of the deferred tax assets to their anticipated realizable value.
The Company records uncertain tax positions on the basis of a two-step process whereby we first determine if it is more likely than not that a tax position will be sustained upon examination, including resolution of any related appeals or litigation processes, based on the technical merits of the position. A tax position that meets the more-likely-than-not recognition threshold is then measured for purposes of financial statement recognition as the largest amount of benefit that is greater than 50% likely of being realized upon being effectively settled.
Interest accrued for uncertain tax positions is charged to “Interest expense, net.” Penalties accrued for uncertain tax positions are charged to “General and administrative.”
Restaurant Acquisitions and Dispositions
The Company accounts for the acquisition of restaurants from franchisees using the acquisition method of accounting for business combinations. The acquisition method of accounting involves the allocation of the purchase price to the estimated fair values of the assets acquired and liabilities assumed. This allocation process requires the use of estimates and assumptions to derive fair values and to complete the allocation. The excess of the purchase price over the fair values of the assets acquired and liabilities assumed represents goodwill derived from the acquisition. See “Goodwill” above for further information.
In connection with the sale of Company-operated restaurants to franchisees, the Company typically enters into several agreements, in addition to an asset purchase agreement, with franchisees including franchise, development, relationship and lease agreements. The Company typically sells restaurants’ cash, inventory and equipment and retains ownership or the leasehold interest to the real estate to lease and/or sublease to the franchisee. The Company has determined that its restaurant dispositions usually represent multiple-element arrangements, and as such, the cash consideration received is allocated to the separate elements based on their relative selling price. Cash consideration generally includes up-front consideration for the sale of the restaurants, technical assistance fees and development fees and future cash consideration for royalties and lease payments. The Company considers the future lease payments in allocating the initial cash consideration received. The Company obtains third-party evidence to estimate the relative selling price of the stated rent under the lease and/or sublease agreements which is primarily based upon comparable market rents. Based on the Company’s review of the third-party evidence, the Company records favorable or unfavorable lease assets/liabilities with a corresponding offset to the gain or loss on the sale of the restaurants. The cash consideration per restaurant for technical assistance fees and development fees is consistent with the amounts stated in the related franchise agreements which are charged for separate standalone arrangements. The Company recognizes the technical assistance and development fees over the contractual term of the franchise agreements. Future royalty income is also recognized in revenue as earned. See “Revenue Recognition” below for further information.
“Sales” includes revenues recognized upon delivery of food to the customer at Company-operated restaurants. “Sales” excludes taxes collected from the Company’s customers. Revenue is recognized when the food is purchased by the customer, which is when our performance obligation is satisfied. “Sales” also includes income for gift cards. Gift card payments are recorded as deferred income when received and are recognized as revenue upon redemption.
“Franchise royalty revenue and fees” includes royalties, new build technical assistance fees, renewal fees, franchisee-to- franchisee restaurant transfer (“Franchise Flip”) technical assistance fees, Franchise Flip advisory fees and development fees.
Royalties from franchised restaurants are based on a percentage of sales of the franchised restaurant and are recognized as earned. New build technical assistance fees, renewal fees and Franchise Flip technical assistance fees are recorded as deferred revenue when received and recognized as revenue over the contractual term of the franchise agreements, once the restaurant has opened. Development fees are deferred when received, allocated to each agreed upon restaurant, and recognized as revenue over the contractual term of each respective franchise agreement, once the restaurant has opened. These franchise fees are considered highly dependent upon and interrelated with the franchise right granted in the franchise agreement. Franchise Flip advisory fees include valuation services and fees for selecting pre-approved buyers for Franchise Flips. Franchise Flip advisory fees are paid by the seller and are recognized as revenue at closing of the Franchise Flip transaction.
“Franchise rental income” includes rental income from properties owned and leased by the Company and leased or subleased to franchisees. Rental income is recognized on a straight-line basis over the respective operating lease terms. Favorable and unfavorable lease amounts related to the leased and/or subleased properties are amortized to rental income on a straight-line basis over the remaining term of the leases.
“Advertising funds revenue” includes contributions to the Advertising Funds by franchisees. Revenue related to these contributions is based on a percentage of sales of the franchised restaurants and is recognized as earned.
Cost of Sales
Cost of sales includes food and paper, restaurant labor and occupancy, advertising and other operating costs relating to Company-operated restaurants. Cost of sales excludes depreciation and amortization expense.
The Company receives incentives from certain vendors. These incentives are recognized as earned and are classified as a reduction of “Cost of sales.”
Advertising costs are expensed as incurred and are included in “Cost of sales” and “Advertising funds expense.” Production costs of advertising are expensed when the advertisement is first released.
Franchise Support and Other Costs
The Company incurs costs to provide direct support services to our franchisees, as well as certain other direct and incremental costs to the Company’s franchise operations. These costs primarily relate to franchise development services, facilitating Franchise Flips and information technology services, which are charged to “Franchise support and other costs,” as incurred.
The Company is self-insured for most workers’ compensation losses and health care claims and purchases insurance for general liability and automotive liability losses, all subject to a $500 per occurrence retention or deductible limit. The Company provides for their estimated cost to settle both known claims and claims incurred but not yet reported. Liabilities associated with these claims are estimated, in part, by considering the frequency and severity of historical claims, both specific to us, as well as industry-wide loss experience and other actuarial assumptions. We determine our insurance obligations with the assistance of actuarial firms. Since there are many estimates and assumptions involved in recording insurance liabilities and in the case of workers’ compensation a significant period of time elapses before the ultimate resolution of claims, differences between actual future events and prior estimates and assumptions could result in adjustments to these liabilities.
Determination of Whether a Contract Contains a Lease
The Company evaluates the contracts it enters into to determine whether such contracts contain leases. A contract contains a lease if the contract conveys the right to control the use of identified property, plant or equipment for a period of time in exchange for consideration. At commencement, contracts containing a lease are further evaluated for classification as an operating or finance lease where the Company is a lessee, or as an operating, sales-type or direct financing lease where the Company is a lessor, based on their terms.
ROU Model and Determination of Lease Term
The Company uses the right-of-use (“ROU”) model to account for leases where the Company is the lessee, which requires an entity to recognize a lease liability and ROU asset on the lease commencement date. A lease liability is measured equal to the present value of the remaining lease payments over the lease term and is discounted using the incremental borrowing rate, as the rate implicit in the Company’s leases is not readily determinable. The incremental borrowing rate is the rate of interest that the Company would have to pay to borrow, on a collateralized basis over a similar term, an amount equal to the lease payments in a similar economic environment. Lease payments include payments made before the commencement date and any residual value guarantees, if applicable. The initial ROU asset consists of the initial measurement of the lease liability, adjusted for any favorable or unfavorable terms for leases acquired from franchisees, as well as payments made before the commencement date, initial direct costs and lease incentives earned. When determining the lease term, the Company includes option periods that it is reasonably certain to exercise as failure to renew the lease would impose a significant economic detriment. For properties used for Company-operated restaurants, the primary economic detriment relates to the existence of unamortized leasehold improvements which might be impaired if we choose not to exercise the available renewal options. The lease term for properties leased or subleased to franchisees is determined based upon the economic detriment to the franchisee and includes consideration of the length of the franchise agreement, historical performance of the restaurant and the existence of bargain renewal options. Lease terms for real estate are generally initially between 15 and 20 years and, in most cases, provide for rent escalations and renewal options.
For operating leases, minimum lease payments or receipts, including minimum scheduled rent increases, are recognized as rent expense where the Company is a lessee, or income where the Company is a lessor, as applicable, on a straight-line basis (“Straight-Line Rent”) over the applicable lease terms. There is a period under certain lease agreements referred to as a rent holiday (“Rent Holiday”) that generally begins on the possession date and ends on the rent commencement date. During a Rent Holiday, no cash rent payments are typically due under the terms of the lease; however, expense is recorded for that period on a straight-line basis. The excess of the Straight-Line Rent over the minimum rents paid is included in the ROU asset where the Company is a lessee. The excess of the Straight-Line Rent over the minimum rents received is recorded as a deferred lease asset and is included in “Other assets” where the Company is a lessor. Certain leases contain provisions, referred to as contingent rent (“Contingent Rent”), that require additional rental payments based upon restaurant sales volume. Contingent Rent is recognized each period as the liability is incurred or the asset is earned.
Lease cost for operating leases includes the amortization of the ROU asset and interest expense related to the operating lease liability. Variable lease cost for operating leases includes Contingent Rent and payments for executory costs such as real estate taxes, insurance and common area maintenance, which are excluded from the measurement of the lease liability. Short-term lease cost for operating leases includes rental expense for leases with a term of less than 12 months. Lease costs are recorded in the consolidated statements of operations based on the nature of the underlying lease as follows: (1) rental expense related to leases for Company-operated restaurants is recorded to “Cost of sales,” (2) rental expense for leased properties that are subsequently subleased to franchisees is recorded to “Franchise rental expense” and (3) rental expense related to leases for corporate offices and equipment is recorded to “General and administrative.”
Favorable and unfavorable lease amounts for operating leases where the Company is the lessor are recorded as components of “Other intangible assets” and “Other liabilities,” respectively. Favorable and unfavorable lease amounts are amortized on a straight-line basis over the term of the leases. When the expected term of a lease is determined to be shorter than the original amortization period, the favorable or unfavorable lease balance associated with the lease is adjusted to reflect the revised lease term.
Rental income and favorable and unfavorable lease amortization for operating leases on properties leased or subleased to franchisees is recorded to “Franchise rental income.” Lessees’ variable payments to the Company for executory costs under operating leases are recognized on a gross basis as “Franchise rental income” with a corresponding expense recorded to “Franchise rental expense.”
Lease cost for finance leases where the Company is the lessee includes the amortization of the ROU asset, which is amortized on a straight-line basis and recorded to “Depreciation and amortization,” and interest expense on the finance lease liability, which is calculated using the interest method and recorded to “Interest expense, net.” Finance lease ROU assets are amortized over the shorter of their estimated useful lives or the terms of the respective leases, including periods covered by renewal options that the Company is reasonably certain of exercising.
Sales-Type and Direct Financing Leases
For sales-type and direct financing leases where the Company is the lessor, the Company records its investment in properties leased to franchisees on a net basis, which is comprised of the present value of the lease payments not yet received and the present value of the guaranteed and unguaranteed residual assets. The current and long-term portions of our net investment in sales-type and direct financing leases are included in “Accounts and notes receivable, net” and “Net investment in sales-type and direct financing leases,” respectively. Unearned income is recognized as interest income over the lease term and is included in “Interest expense, net.” Sales-type leases result in the recognition of gain or loss at the commencement of the lease, which is recorded to “Other operating income, net.” The gain or loss recognized upon commencement of the lease is directly affected by the Company’s estimate of the amount to be derived from the guaranteed and unguaranteed residual assets at the end of the lease term. The Company’s main component of this estimate is the expected fair value of the underlying assets, primarily the fair value of land. Lessees’ variable payments to the Company for executory costs under sales-type and direct financing leases are recognized on a gross basis as “Franchise rental income” with a corresponding expense recorded to “Franchise rental expense.”
Significant Assumptions and Judgments
Management makes certain estimates and assumptions regarding each new lease and sublease agreement, renewal and amendment, including, but not limited to, property values, market rents, property lives, discount rates and probable term, all of which can impact (1) the classification and accounting for a lease or sublease as operating or finance, including sales-type and direct financing, (2) the Rent Holiday and escalations in payment that are taken into consideration when calculating Straight-Line Rent, (3) the term over which leasehold improvements for each restaurant are amortized and (4) the values and lives of adjustments to the initial ROU asset where the Company is the lessee, or favorable and unfavorable leases where the Company is the lessor. The amount of depreciation and amortization, interest and rent expense and income reported would vary if different estimates and assumptions were used.
Concentration of Risk
Wendy’s had no customers which accounted for 10% or more of consolidated revenues in 2020, 2019 or 2018. As of January 3, 2021, Wendy’s had one main in-line distributor of food, packaging and beverage products, excluding breads, that serviced approximately 67% of Wendy’s restaurants in the U.S. and four additional in-line distributors that, in the aggregate, serviced approximately 32% of Wendy’s restaurants in the U.S. We believe that our vulnerability to risk concentrations related to significant vendors and sources of our raw materials is mitigated as we believe that there are other vendors who would be able to service our requirements. However, if a disruption of service from any of our main in-line distributors was to occur, we could experience short-term increases in our costs while distribution channels were adjusted.
Wendy’s restaurants are principally located throughout the U.S. and to a lesser extent, in 30 foreign countries and U.S. territories with the largest number in Canada. Wendy’s U.S. restaurants are located in 50 states and the District of Columbia, with the largest number in Florida, Texas, Ohio, Georgia, California, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Michigan. Because our restaurant operations are generally located throughout the U.S. and to a much lesser extent, Canada and other foreign countries and U.S. territories, we believe the risk of geographic concentration is not significant. We could be adversely affected by changing consumer preferences resulting from concerns over nutritional or safety aspects of beef, chicken, french fries or other products we sell or the effects of food safety events or disease outbreaks. Our exposure to foreign exchange risk is primarily related to fluctuations in the Canadian dollar relative to the U.S. dollar for our Canadian operations. However, our exposure to Canadian dollar foreign currency risk is mitigated by the fact that there are no Company-operated restaurants in Canada and less than 10% of Wendy’s franchised restaurants are in Canada.
The Company is subject to credit risk through its accounts receivable consisting primarily of amounts due from franchisees for royalties, franchise fees and rent. In addition, we have notes receivable from certain of our franchisees. The financial condition of these franchisees is largely dependent upon the underlying business trends of the Wendy’s brand and market conditions within the quick-service restaurant industry. This concentration of credit risk is mitigated, in part, by the number of franchisees and the short-term nature of the franchise receivables.
New Accounting Standards Adopted
In December 2019, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (“FASB”) issued new guidance to simplify the accounting for income taxes by removing certain exceptions to the general principles and the simplification of areas such as franchise taxes, transactions that result in a step-up in the tax basis of goodwill, separate entity financial statements and interim recognition of enactment of tax laws or tax rate changes. The Company early adopted this amendment during the first quarter of 2020. The adoption of this guidance did not have a material impact on our consolidated financial statements.
Fair Value Measurement
In August 2018, the FASB issued new guidance on disclosure requirements for fair value measurements. The objective of the new guidance is to provide additional information about assets and liabilities measured at fair value in the statement of financial position or disclosed in the notes to financial statements. New incremental disclosure requirements include the amount of fair value hierarchy level 3 changes in unrealized gains and losses and the range and weighted average used to develop significant unobservable inputs for level 3 fair value measurements. The Company adopted this guidance during the first quarter of 2020. The adoption of this guidance did not have a material impact on our consolidated financial statements.
In January 2017, the FASB issued new guidance that simplifies the accounting for goodwill impairment by eliminating step two from the goodwill impairment test. The Company adopted this amendment during the first quarter of 2020. The adoption of this guidance did not have a material impact on our consolidated financial statements.
In June 2016, the FASB issued an amendment that requires the Company to use a current expected credit loss model that results in the immediate recognition of an estimate of credit losses that are expected to occur over the life of the financial instruments that are within the scope of the guidance, including trade receivables. The Company adopted this amendment during the first quarter of 2020. The adoption of this guidance did not have a material impact on our consolidated financial statements.
In February 2016, the FASB issued new guidance on leases, which outlines principles for the recognition, measurement, presentation and disclosure of leases applicable to both lessors and lessees. The new guidance requires lessees to recognize on the balance sheet the assets and liabilities for the rights and obligations created by finance and operating leases. The Company adopted the new guidance during the first quarter of 2019 using the effective date as the date of initial application; therefore, the comparative periods have not been adjusted and continue to be reported under the previous lease guidance.
The new standard provides a number of optional practical expedients in transition. The Company elected the package of practical expedients, which permits us not to reassess under the new standard our prior conclusions about lease identification, lease classification and initial direct costs. For those leases that fall under the definition of a short-term lease, the Company elected the short-term lease recognition exemption. Under this practical expedient, for those leases that qualify, we did not recognize ROU assets or liabilities, which included not recognizing ROU assets or lease liabilities for existing short-term leases of those assets in transition. The Company also elected the practical expedient for lessees to account for lease components and nonlease components as a single lease component for all underlying classes of assets. In addition, the Company elected the practical expedient for lessors to account for lease components and nonlease components as a single lease component in instances where the lease component is predominant, the timing and pattern of transfer for the lease component and nonlease component are the same and the lease component, if accounted for separately, would be classified as an operating lease. The Company did not elect the use-of-hindsight practical expedient.
The standard had a material impact on our consolidated balance sheets and related disclosures. Upon adoption at the beginning of 2019, we recognized operating lease liabilities of $1,011,000 based on the present value of the remaining minimum rental payments, with corresponding ROU assets of $934,000. The measurement of the operating lease ROU assets included, among other items, favorable lease amounts of $23,000 and unfavorable lease amounts of $30,000, which were previously included in “Other intangible assets” and “Other liabilities,” respectively, as well as the excess of rent expense recognized on a straight-line basis over the minimum rents paid of $67,000, which was previously included in “Other liabilities.” In addition, the standard requires lessors to recognize lessees’ payments to the Company for executory costs on a gross basis as revenue with a corresponding expense, which resulted in an increase of approximately $38,000 to our 2019 franchise rental income and expense. The Company also recognized a decrease to retained earnings of $1,105 as a result of impairing newly recognized ROU assets upon transition to the new guidance. The adoption of the guidance did not have a material impact on our consolidated statement of cash flows.
New Accounting Standards
In August 2020, the FASB issued an amendment that simplifies the accounting for certain financial instruments with characteristics of liabilities and equity, including convertible instruments and contracts on an entity’s own equity. The amendment simplifies accounting for convertible instruments by removing major separation models required under current accounting guidance. In addition, the amendment removes certain settlement conditions that are required for equity contracts to qualify for the derivative scope exception, which will permit more equity contracts to qualify for the exception, and also simplifies the diluted earnings per share calculation in certain areas. The amendment is effective commencing with our 2022 fiscal year. We are currently evaluating the impact of the adoption of this guidance on our consolidated financial statements.