Thanks to the potent combination of globalisation and our obsession with things that will slowly poison us, American fast food is a fact of life in Britain. Almost every major brand has spread their greasy tendrils to our green and pleasant land, with delicious results. It might be bad for us, but there isn’t a day that goes by when we aren’t grateful for Whoppers and McNuggets.
However, despite the prevalence of Burger King, McDonald’s et al, one brand has been strangely absent from the British highstreet. Despite being one of the most recognisable names in the industry, Wendy’s has inexplicably struggled to break into the market. That, however, could be about to change.
According to a report by financial publication This Is Money, the chain is set to open 20 restaurants across the country “as early as next year” in order to help give the company a foothold in Europe.
In a recent meeting with investors, the company’s president of the international division and chief development officer, Abigail Pringle, said:
“Where the UK has been pulling back is in casual dining – just like we have in the US. But we believe their overall growth in the quick service restaurant segment – and hamburger specifically – is growing and we believe we can be a challenger brand in that market and have great success.”
“The United Kingdom will be our beachhead to European expansion. We believe it is a growing market and it has lots of great growth ahead of it. We also know that great American brands have been successful. Burger brands have been unbelievably successful there. But we believe that we can challenge those brands.”
This is not the first time that Wendy’s has attempted a foray into the British market. The company first failed to gain a foothold in the 1980s, before being rebuffed again in 1999, complaining of “high real estate and operating costs”.
However, Pringle clearly believes that it will be third time lucky for the chain. According to This Is Money, she told investors:
“We are going there with our eyes wide open and with a lot of insights and preparation. We have done landmark research with thousands of consumers in the UK. We have talked to them and engaged with them and what they think about the Wendy's brand.”
Hungry Brits hoping to get a taste of the Baconator will certainly be keeping their fingers crossed that this is the case.