Jul 09, 2024

US Fast-Food Wendy’s to Open First Branch in Prague

US fast-food giant Wendy’s announced on Tuesday its ambitious plans to open hundreds of restaurants across Europe in the next decade.

The expansion will begin in the Czech Republic and include Spain, Portugal, France, the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland, Romania, and Poland. Currently, Wendy’s operates only in the UK outside the United States, starting from 2021.

Michael Clarke, Wendy’s Managing Director for Europe, described the Czech Republic as an ideal base for the chain’s European expansion.

He cited the strong domestic market, geographical location, and the country’s fast-food tradition as key factors. This is why the Czech Republic is part of the first wave of the expansion.

“We were encouraged by the positive response to a recent event at the US Embassy in Prague, where we received initial franchise applications,” Clarke said. “We welcome more applicants who want to partner with us and operate Wendy’s restaurants in the Czech Republic.”

Wendy’s plans to operate up to 50 restaurants in Britain by the end of the year, with a long-term goal of 400.

Although the Czech Republic is in the first wave, negotiations are moving fastest in Ireland and Romania. The company has signed contracts with franchisees in these countries and plans to open the first restaurants next year.

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Wendy’s is actively seeking franchisees in all mentioned European markets.

Foreign markets will account for 70% of Wendy’s brand expansion through 2025. The chain currently operates more than 7,000 locations in 30 countries, including the US and the UK.

Wendy’s has a notable connection to the Czech Republic. John Havlicek, an American of Czech descent, significantly invested in his friend Dave Thomas’ company during the 1970s. The Boston Celtics basketball legend managed some of the restaurants himself for thirty years, helping the company grow in its early days.

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