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Wendy's unveils plans for 400 UK restaurants

Wendy's, a popular American burger chain, has its sights set on opening around 400 restaurants in the UK as part of its broader expansion across Europe.

Known for its distinctive square burgers, the chain made its comeback to the UK in 2021 after a two-decade break. Since then, it has expanded to 37 restaurants, with 12 of them being company-owned.

During a recent call with investors, company leaders were pressed about why Wendy's still trails behind rival American burger chains in terms of the number of locations in the UK.

Gunther Plosch, Wendy's Chief Financial Officer, stated that the company aims to expand to 45-50 restaurants in the UK by the year's end.

'We're building company restaurants and obviously we've signed up several franchise partners who are very excited,' said Plosch.

'We've always said the UK is a key strategic market for us as kind of the beach head for the rest of Europe.

'We absolutely expect that over time [the UK] should yield 400 restaurants for us. We'll see how long that takes us, but we believe that's our fair share in that market.'

Plosch also mentioned that Wendy's is actively exploring additional expansion opportunities in Europe, including potential ventures in Ireland and Spain.

Kirk Tanner, president and chief executive officer of Wendy's, said: 'We continue to work across Europe right now, so we do think that is a significant opportunity for us.'

Established in 1969 in Columbus, Ohio, Wendy's boasts a vast presence with over 6,000 restaurants across the United States.

The chain is poised to generate over 400 employment opportunities as it expands its presence across the UK this year.

Upcoming restaurant launches are slated for various locations including Liverpool, Middlesbrough, Sheffield, London, Southend-on-Sea, Colchester, Cambridge, and Newcastle.