Wendy’s/Arby’s Group Inc. said a longtime franchisee in the Philippines, Wenphil Corp., has agreed to build 44 more Wendy’s units in that nation over the next several years, bringing the total number of restaurants there to 75.
Wenphil has franchised Wendy’s in the Philippines since 1983, and the operator plans to expand for the first time beyond the capital city of Manila and surrounding areas by subfranchising.
“We’re delighted to renew our franchise relationship with Wendy’s, and we’re excited about the opportunity to further expand our business in the Philippine market through the innovative use of subfranchising,” Elizabeth Pardo-Orbeta, chairman of Wenphil, said in a statement Thursday.
Wendy’s currently has 340 stores outside North America, from a total system base of 6,600 restaurants. The Atlanta-based company stated during is its January investor conference that the brand has the potential for 8,000 international restaurants. Darrell van Ligten, president of Wendy’s/Arby’s International, noted Thursday that while the Wendy’s brand is only beginning an aggressive push for expansion abroad, franchisees have been active since 2009 in various markets, including North Africa and the Middle East, Singapore, Turkey, Russia, the Eastern Caribbean, and Argentina.
“We see great growth potential for the Wendy’s brand in the Philippines, where we are building on the relationship we have enjoyed for many years with Wenphil,” van Ligten said. “This is another example of our aggressive focus on ramping up restaurant development outside North America. … Our international presence would grow to almost 1,000 restaurants if all store commitments currently on the books were to be fulfilled. That number of commitments will increase as we layer on development deals for new markets currently under negotiation and expand agreements with existing franchisees.”
At its investor conference last month, Wendy’s detailed plans to increase its international system, which lags behind those of quick-service competitors Yum! Brands Inc., which holds more than 18,000 restaurants aboard, and McDonald’s Corp., which boasts a similar 18,000 locations overseas. Of Wendy’s 8,000-unit international potential, 30 percent of projected openings would be targeted in China and Brazil, van Ligten noted then. Another 9 percent of that capacity would be in Japan, a market Wendy’s exited in late 2009 with the closure of 75 stores.
Wendy’s/Arby’s Group also operates and franchises the 3,700-unit Arby’s brand, which it intends to divest.
Contact Mark Brandau at [email protected] .