Wendy’s returns to England, bringing porridge and more to the menu

Columbus Business First

DUBLIN, Ohio (COLUMBUS BUSINESS FIRST) — Wendy’s is back in the United Kingdom.

The Dublin-based restaurant company hasn’t had any restaurants in England since it closed its last unit there in 2000. That changed Wednesday.

A restaurant in Reading is now open, selling Wendy’s signatures like the Baconator, Dave’s Single, Spicy Chicken Sandwich and the Frosty as well as exclusive items just in that market including the meat-free Veggie Stack sandwich, Veggie Bites and the Avocado Veggie Salad.

It’s the first in Wendy’s initial wave of five restaurants opening this year in the country. Other units are headed to Stratford and Oxford. The initial mix will include some drive-thru only operations as well, one of multiple new restaurant models Wendy’s is testing and deploying around the world.

“Our team is working on opening additional restaurants across the country, starting in the southeast, and establishing new franchisee partnerships to help us quickly scale and expand our brand presence, investing in the local economy and bringing more jobs to the area,” International President and Chief Development Officer Abigail Pringle said in a news release.

Wendy’s said it selected the Reading site because it has a strong employee base and is near a major transportation hub that is expected to have good traffic throughout the day. The restaurant will be serving breakfast and has several porridge options, another nod to the local market.

The company is also using fresh British beef in its burgers and locally sourced British produce wherever possible.

Though sometimes a bit of an afterthought in Wendy’s history, the international business is poised to grow in the coming years and be a key factor in taking Wendy’s to more than 8,000 global locations by 2025. The company has 6,800 restaurants today with around 1,000 of those international units.

In addition to expansion in the U.K., the company has new franchisee deals in India and Quebec and expects to grow international units by more than 10% a year.

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