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Wendy's (WEN) Announces Plans to Expand Presence in UK

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The Wendy's Company (WEN - Free Report) has been focused on expanding its presence globally. In sync with the endeavor, the company is planning to open 50 restaurants in the U.K. throughout 2022 following a successful relaunch in the country this year.

In June 2021, the company opened its first restaurant in the U.K. Since the second quarter of 2021, it has opened several restaurants in the country. Wendy’s anticipates having 10 restaurants in the U.K. by the end of 2021. The company has restaurants in Reading, Stratford, Oxford, Croydon, and Romford.

Wendy’s is planning to open restaurants in Brighton and the Midlands in 2022. The company is also in discussion with its partners to open restaurants in Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

Wendy’s managing director for the U.K. and Canada, Paul Hilder, said “We’re in the final stages of discussions with two traditional franchise partners who will help the brand cross the Midlands and the North of England, and we have a very strong pipeline of franchise candidates beyond that.”

Shares of the company have gained 0.6% in the past year, compared with the industry’s growth of 14.6%.

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Expansion to Act as a Key Catalyst

Backed by a strong pipeline of locations and a talent team in place, the company is optimistic regarding prospects in the international markets. Despite the pandemic, the company opened approximately 150 restaurants in 2020. In third-quarter fiscal 2021, Wendy’s had 48 global restaurant openings with an increase of 25 net new units.

During the fiscal second quarter, the Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) company announced a development commitment by REEF to open and operate 700 delivery kitchens (over the next five years) across the United States, Canada and the U.K. The commitment builds upon the successful test of eight delivery kitchens in Canada (beginning in late 2020). With this agreement, REEF will become the first Wendy's franchisee in the U.K. The company together with REEF expects to inaugurate approximately 50 delivery kitchens in 2021, with the rest expected to be launched by 2025. WEN also announced 240 incremental new restaurant commitments in Canada and the United States through its Groundbreaker Incentive Program. Notably, commitments from REEF and Groundbreaker Incentive Program represent 70% of its new global restaurant pipeline through 2025.

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