You have summed it up quite well. I think the "beancounter" issue is most to blame. That by itself caused most of the problems you mentioned. I personally was there when Wendy’s first started to flounder (about 1985). Domino’s made THREE drastic changes in their basic pizza recipe that started them down the toilet bowl chute. They changed their dough recipe to become "less chewy". They changed their pizza sauce recipe to become "less spicy". And lastly, they started using chain ovens. Alas, more profit, less quality.
Hey, it IS your wife’s fault!!!!!