The Wendy’s Co. recently orchestrated the sale of a large, 113-unit operator in five Great Lakes region markets to three different franchisees.
The operator is Wendy’s Restaurants of Rochester, N.Y., which was owned by Dick Fox, who had been a franchisee of the Dublin, Ohio-based burger chain for more than 40 years and decided to retire.
The company operated locations in Indiana, Michigan, New York, Ohio and Pennsylvania.
Wendy’s bought the locations from the franchisee and then sold the restaurants to the three operators. “When possible, we are helping facilitate this process to ensure that these restaurants end up in the hands of strong, capable operators who are focused on growth,” a Wendy’s spokesman said via email.
It is uncertain which three franchisees bought the locations — the company wouldn't disclose the buyers. The deal is part of a plan by Wendy’s to selectively buy and refranchise locations to certain stronger operators.
Dean Zuccarello, CEO of the Cypress Group, which advised Wendy’s Restaurants of Rochester on the deal, said the restaurants were sold to different operators because the locations are in diverse markets. “Really, it was geographically driven,” he said.
The deal is a rare breakup of an existing franchisee. Franchisees are generally growing larger and typically buy entire operations.
The sale comes as the 6,500-unit Wendy’s continues to refranchise many of its company-owned locations. The company a couple of years ago sold 425 locations in the Western U.S., and is currently working to refranchise 550 company-owned restaurants in the Eastern half of the U.S.