Fast-food giant Wendy’s is one step closer to bringing its iconic square patties to Australia after a signing a deal to open 200 stores nationwide.
The American fast-food giant signed a deal with Pizza Hut-operator Flynn Restaurant Group to build hundreds of stores over the next decade.
Wendy’s is known for its non-traditional burger patties and is the third largest burger chain globally after McDonalds and Burger King.
The company’s international president, Abigail Pringle, said Wendy’s was ready to formalise a deal after a successful pop-up in Sydney in 2021.
She said Australia was a “high priority, strategic growth market” and that Wendy’s was ready to take on long-time burger chains nationally.
“Flynn Restaurant Group has incredible experience in the restaurant space, and we are thrilled to expand our relationship with them,” she said.
“They have a strong leadership team, great culture, vast industry knowledge, success with our brand in the U.S.
“We are confident that Flynn Restaurant Group is the right partner to unlock growth for Wendy’s in Australia.”
Ms Pringle said the major expansion will “primarily kick off” after 2025, with the goal of opening 200 stores across Australia by 2034.
The news comes only months after US-based Flynn Restaurant Group bought out more than 250 Pizza Hut stores in a major expansion.
The fast-food giant has this year focused on international growth, with an expansive list of stores including 926 Pizza Hut outlets.
Flynn also operates hundreds of American fast-food and short-order stores such as Applebees, Arby’s, Taco Bell, and Panera Bakery Cafe.
It currently operates a raft of Wendy’s stores – 190 in total – across five states in the US, as well as the Washington DC area.
Flynn Restaurant Group CEO Ron Bellamy said he company was excited to expand upon its partnership with Wendy’s in Australia.
“It is (Wendy’s) a tremendous brand with significant untapped potential outside of the U.S.,” he said.
“We think it is an especially great fit for Australia, given the savvy nature of the Australian consumer.
“We look forward to expanding the brand in the market and in the process redefining what Australians should expect from QSR.”
The launch of Wendy’s isn’t the first in Australia, after the burger chain opened its first store in Melbourne in 1982.
It had as many as 11 locations across the country before collapsing three years later with $8 million in debt.
In recent years, a number of American food chains have opened in Australia, including burger chains Five Guys and In-and-Out.
Hundreds of people queued for Californian burger chain In-and-Out’s pop-up store in Melbourne earlier this year.
The deal poses a challenge to McDonalds and Hungry Jacks, who have long had a stranglehold on the burger market.
Hungry Jack’s founder Jack Cowin was quoted by the AFR as questioning Wendy’s ambitions in Australia given its past failure.
It is also unclear how the deal will impact upon the 120 Wendy’s Milk Bar stores open across Australia and New Zealand.
A Wendy‘s Milk Bar franchisee told The Guardian: “There can’t be two Wendy’s” when the burger giant announced its plans earlier this year”.