Wendy’s to open 700 ghost kitchens in Canada and beyond

Wendy’s is opening 700 delivery kitchens over the next five years in Canada, the United States, and the United Kingdom, according to a press release.

The expansion of the chain’s partnership with Reef Technology, which was originally a pilot of eight units in Canada, will see about 50 kitchens go live this year. The rest will launch between 2022 and 2025.

The fast-food chain has also created a $100 million strategic build-to-suit development fund, which will use additional cash obtained as part of Wendy’s debt refinancing computed during Q2 2021, to drive new restaurant growth. The development fund is expected to drive about 80 to 90 franchise restaurants between 2022 and 2025.

With these latest initiatives in place, Wendy’s has raised its 2025 development target from 8,000 units globally to between 8,500 to 9,000 locations.

The company is on track to reach 7,000 units globally by the end of 2021, CEO Todd Penegor said during an earnings call on August 11.

Wendy’s latest ghost kitchen commitment follows its goal to have 30 per cent% of its new units come from nontraditional channels. The company has also been aggressively working to attract new and existing franchisees as part of its growth plans.

“This [development fund program] along with newly implemented lower liquidity and net worth requirements for new franchisees will transform how we recruit and engage diverse franchisees into the brand,” Penegor said. “Real estate and construction teams will be on point to secure and build the locations, making it a turnkey solution for a franchisee to open a new restaurant.”

Penegor said this program is expected to help attract smaller franchisees and allow them to scale up. The company provides the building while the franchisee invests in signage and equipment.

Along with its development fund, Wendy’s 2021 “Groundbreaker” new restaurant incentive program, which offers up to $200,000 in incentives, led to an incremental commitment of about 240 new restaurants in the U.S. and Canada that will help it boost its growth plans, the press release said.

Source : restobiz.ca (11/08/2021)

Photo : Batu Gezer (unsplash.com) (tirée de l'article original)