DUBLIN, Ohio (COLUMBUS BUSINESS FIRST)–Wendy’s expects to add as many as 65 restaurants in Central Asia in the coming years.
International growth is a priority for the Dublin-based brand that wants to hit a goal of 8,000 global units by 2025. Right now it has about 6,800 restaurants and expects to pass 7,000 this year. Roughly 1,000 units are outside the United States and Canada.
On Thursday, Wendy’s said it inked a trio of deals with Kusto Group and Global Investors Limited (Wissol Group gas stations) that will bring Dave’s Doubles and Frostys to the Republic of Georgia, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan. The goal is open those 65 restaurants in the next nine years.
Kusto and Wissol opened the first two restaurants this year in Almaty in Kazakhstan and added a drive-thru only location at a Wissol station in Tbilisi, Georgia.
Wissol already was a Wendy’s franchisee in Georgia, having opened their first location in that country in 2014.
“We are thrilled to grow the Wendy’s brand in Georgia, and to partner with Kusto Group, and their owners and affiliates, to bring Wendy’s to Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan after making the brand a favorite restaurant in Georgia,” Wissol President Samson Pkhakadze said in the release.
Wendy’s is a well-established, iconic global brand, and is known for quality. We have every confidence that the brand will also be successful and beloved by customers in the Central Asia region.”
Abigail Pringle, Wendy’s president of international and chief development officer, speaking in May, laid out the company’s growth strategies including using ghost kitchens, drive-thru only units and partnerships with fuel center operators, among other model variations, to expand its reach.
The company returned to the United Kingdom this month, opening a new restaurant there for the first time in more than 20 years. It’s also recently announced expansions in Canada and India, both of which will utilize delivery-only models to serve dense population areas where traditional real estate might be pricey and/or impractical.
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