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Tampa zoo’s newest arrival: Wendy’s first Frosty cart

ZooTampa at Lowry Park is Wendy’s first test market for getting Frostys on the go.
Wendy's picked ZooTampa at Lowry Park as the first test market for its new Frosty cart concept. The cart is located at the zoo's Wallaroo area.
Wendy's picked ZooTampa at Lowry Park as the first test market for its new Frosty cart concept. The cart is located at the zoo's Wallaroo area. [ ZooTampa at Lowry Park ]
Published Jul. 12
Updated Jul. 13

Even at the African penguin exhibit, “frosty” isn’t the first word that comes to mind when you think about ZooTampa at Lowry Park in July.

That might change this summer with the arrival of an all-new zoo tenant: Wendy’s first-ever Frosty cart.

The fast food chain picked Tampa’s zoo as the initial test location for its new Frosty cart concept. The cart, open during normal zoo hours at the Australian-themed Wallaroo area, serves chocolate and vanilla Frostys, sundaes and other frozen treats, customizable with toppings like crushed Oreos and Lucky Charms marshmallows.

As far back as 2019, Wendy’s had been looking at several locations around Tampa Bay to test the concept, said ZooTampa chief operations officer Scott Rose. After hitting pause during the pandemic, conversations picked back up earlier this year. The cart opened in early July.

“They felt that ZooTampa gave them exactly what they were looking for,” Rose said. “They felt that we could offer them a good location, are very family-oriented, our demographics align very well. We also give them the opportunity to reach more than a million visitors per year.”

The Frosty cart deal is part of a “multi-year agreement” with Wendy’s, Rose said, that includes sponsorships of the zoo’s Halloween Creatures of the Night and Christmas in the Wild events.

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Wendy’s hasn’t released sales data for the cart, but based on the crowds Rose has seen, it seems to be doing well.

“For us, it’s really about the guest experience, and enhancing the guest experience,” Rose said. “We look at providing our guests with unique food and beverage options during their visit. Now they can enjoy one of these refreshing Frostys, which as you may know, on a hot day, is a pretty good thing.”