DUBLIN Ohio Wendy’s International is expanding into Malaysia through a partnership with Kuala Lumpur-based Berjaya Corp. Berhad. The deal is part of the U.S. burger giant’s plan to focus its development efforts on key markets outside of North America.
The agreement calls for opening more than 70 Wendy’s restaurants over the next 10 years, with the first expected to open within about six months, the companies said.
Publicly owned Berjaya operates Starbucks and Kenny Rogers Roasters franchises in Malaysia. It also is involved in gaming, hotels, resorts, real estate, consumer marketing and financial services.
“This is a great opportunity to expand our Wendy’s brand in Asia,” said James Hartenstein, senior vice president for Wendy’s international division.
Wendy’s, which opened its first restaurant in Asia in 1980 and has about 150 outlets in the Asia-Pacific region, recently established an office in Hong Kong to serve franchise partners throughout the region. About 10 percent of the chain’s 6,600 restaurants are located outside of the United States.
Wendy’s effort to step up international expansion comes as several major U.S. quick-service chains, including KFC, Pizza Hut and McDonald’s, are growing rapidly in the Asia-Pacific region, especially in China.