It’s a well worn path: break the UK then try America. Sometimes it works (Beatlemania, Bowie or One Direction), often it doesn’t (The Kinks, Robbie Williams, everyone else), but it’s seldom such a beaten path in reverse. But Wendy’s looks like it’s going to give it a try.
Fast food is a hard nut to crack. McDonald’s, Burger King and KFC are all safely ensconced in the British psyche, but newbies find it incredibly tricky. Wahlburgers lasted about as long as a Mark Wahlberger workout and cryo chamber, while chains like Dennys, with around 1,700 outlets in the US manage to keep a solitary British outpost alive in Swansea. But into the land once ruled by Wimpy, a newcomer washes ashore… welcome Wendy’s.
Wendy’s is a huge deal over in the US where their square hamburgers (yep, square) fly off the hotplate like hot cakes. There are 6,711 branches of Wendy’s in the states but international acceptance has been trickier.
It's hoped that this time its creepy logo might actually stick..
Britain did actually give it a go, with Wendy’s taking two bites of the burger bun between 1980 and 1986 and again between 1992 and 2000, but it’s hoped that this time its creepy logo might actually stick..
The fast food joint, whose taglines have included ‘Where’s the beef’, ‘Give a little nibble’ and ‘Parts is parts’ currently goes under the slogan ‘We got you’ and maybe they do.
The chain has secured a site in Oxford and another in Reading and is also eyeing up a London base...
Because with menu items including the Triple Baconator (1,360 calories) or the Dave’s Triple Cheeseburger (1.090 calories) our mouths are already involuntarily watering.
According to Big Hospitality, the chain has secured a site in Oxford and another in Reading and is also eyeing up a London base as part of their expansion into these shores. And the plan is to open in summer 2021.
According to a spokesman for Wendy’s, speaking to Big Hospitality, “I can confirm that we will be opening a Wendy’s restaurant in Oxford. Our first location is in Reading and we are exploring additional opportunities in the London area.”
However, this might be part of a larger push. The first few restaurants will be owned by the company, but they are hoping to use this as a beachhead to reach out to potential franchisees who might drive forward further UK expansion.
The question remains, though, will we ‘get’ them?