Wendy’s is the latest US takeout chain to announce a major push into the United Kingdom.
After pulling out of the market back in 2000, Wendy’s has announced that it will make its return to the United Kingdom in June with the opening of restaurants.
The Dublin, Ohio-based chain said that it aims to open 300 to 400 outlets nationwide to capitalize on Briton’s increasing hunger for convenient meals. According to a RAND Europe report published last year, even before the pandemic, there was a considerable increase in the consumption of food outside the home in the UK.
“The U.K. launch will spearhead a European-wide expansion as Wendy’s looks to build on strong growth on the other side of the Atlantic, where the brand last year dethroned Burger King to become the No. 2 player in the U.S. hamburger market,” said Abigail Pringle, Wendy’s president and international and chief development officer.
Wendy’s also said the UK expansion will create between 9,000 and 20,000 jobs in the long term. It has also agreed to a partnership with Uber Eats for deliveries.
“The U.K. consumer seems to be ready for us,” said Gunther Plosch, Wendy’s chief financial officer, in an earnings call.
The company added in a statement that “The UK launch will spearhead a European-wide expansion as Wendy’s looks to build on strong growth on the other side of the Atlantic, where the brand last year dethroned Burger King to become the number two player in the US hamburger market.”
Wendy’s also said that it plans to accommodate the growing trend by diners for plant-based alternatives, with the addition of its Veggie Stack to the UK menu, describing it as a “custom blend of vegetables and grains.”
Wendy’s is the latest US fast-food chain to announce plans to make a major push into the United Kingdom. Popeyes recently unveiled plans to bring its offerings to the UK for the first time later this year and is targeting 350 UK restaurants over the next decade.
Both brands have their work cut out for them against other well-established American fast-food braids such as industry-leader Burger King which has around 1,300 locations there and and McDonald’s which has around 500 outlets.