Fast food chain Wendy’s plans to open 50 new locations across the country, marking the third attempt by the popular US burger chain to break the UK market, according to reports.
The bold move was prompted by strong sales at five UK restaurant sites, including in Croydon and Stratford, according to the Financial Times, which first reported the news.
At £40,000 a week, revenues at the restaurants were “far more” than what business had anticipated, said Abigail Pringle, Wendy’s chief development officer.
The restaurants were opened after Wendy’s relaunched in Reading in June this year, after two previous attempts to expand in the UK.
The company, which will compete with Burger King and McDonalds, pulled out of the UK more than 20 years ago amid complaints about high costs.
The company’s restaurant in Croydon, which was opened earlier this month, was its 1,000th international opening, The opening marked an “exciting milestone” for the company’s “growth plans in the United Kingdom and beyond,” said chief executive Todd Penegor.
Now the chain has announced a target to open 50 new branches, in addition to the five restaurants and five “dark” kitchens that it has already launched this year, in 2022 – five times its original target of 10 new branches next year.
Wendy’s, which already has 6,900 restaurants around the world with most in the US, recently announced it’s ambition to run 8,500 to 9,000 restaurants by the end of 2025.
Fellow US-founded burger chain Five Guys also announced plans to ramp up its UK expansion plans earlier this month, to take advantage of real estate opportunities opened up by the pandemic.
Wendy’s London branches: