Burger chain Wendy’s to expand in the UK ‘within weeks’ – 10 more to open this year

Rylan Clark-Neal works a shift at McDonalds

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Famed in the US for its legendary burgers, Wendy’s has announced its plans to roll out more restaurants in Britain this year. Named “dark kitchen” by the company, the first 10 restaurants will be delivery-only.

Wendy’s is an American fast-food chain that returned to the UK after a 20-year break this year.

Its first new British restaurant opened in Reading earlier this year on June 2.

At the time, Wendy’s said it wanted to open more restaurants in the country in due course.

A spokesperson for the company said: “Our first location is in Reading and we are exploring additional opportunities in the London area.

“The brand is excited to enter the UK with company-owned and operated restaurants this year, and we are looking for franchisees to grow with us across the United Kingdom.”

Wendy’s restaurants are also expected to open in Stratford and Oxford.

This week, the burger chain announced it would be opening a further 10 restaurants in the UK this year.

However, these restaurants will be delivery-only kitchens, some of which could be run from trucks.

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Abigail Pringle, the president of Wendy’s international business, said the dark kitchen sites would form part of a plan to eventually have up to 400 branches in the UK.

The dark kitchens would initially all be in London, before expanding to other areas of the country.

Ms Pringle explained the first of these new sites will open “within weeks”.

The move will enable Britons to get a Wendy’s meal delivered to their door via Uber Eats, Deliveroo, and other delivery specialists.

Ms Pringle added the dark kitchens would form a “meaningful contribution” to the company’s UK expansion plans and would be a means of “accessing consumers through multiple channels”.

She said: “The UK’s delivery [market] has continued to grow year after year.

“Humans like convenience and that’s always going to be a part of what they are looking for.”

The delivery-only kitchens were first tested in the US and Canada and were deemed a success.

In the UK, the kitchens could be run from a variety of locations, including trucks, railway arches, and industrial estate units.

Wendy’s is the first major fast-food company to launch dark kitchens in Britain.

However, McDonald’s trialled the concept in Hounslow in 2019, and Wagamama’s has five delivery-only sites across the country.

Wendy’s is extremely popular in the US and has proven to be so in the UK too since opening in Reading this year.

Its British menu features both signature dishes and items exclusive to the UK.

Savoury treats include Dave’s Single Burger, Veggie Bites, Spicy Chicken Sandwich, Avocado Chicken Salad, Chicken Ceasar Salad, Real Breast Fillet Chicken Nuggets, and Baconator Fries.

Meanwhile, the Frosty dessert is available in vanilla and chocolate flavours.

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