Wendy's re-launches in Japan after yearlong absence
Friday 04 March 2011
After pulling out of Japan in 2009, the
Wendy's/Arby's group announced Wednesday they'll be re-entering that market. The first Wendy's restaurant is expected to open in Tokyo later this year.
The re-launch will give Japanese customers the usual Wendy's products like their signature square beef patty hamburgers, chili, and Frosty desserts. But the chain also promised to add new products like premium sandwiches and hamburgers with gourmet toppings served in a "contemporary atmosphere."
In 2009, the fast-food outlet shuttered all 71 restaurants in the country after terminating a deal with franchisee Zensho Co. Ltd. Until then, the burger chain had been a presence in Japan for 29 years. The last restaurant closed in December of that year.
At the time, the company stated the absence was likely to be short-lived and that they were looking for new joint ventures. Japan is the second largest quick-service restaurant market in the world after the US.
This time, the Wendy's/Arby's group has partnered with Higa Industries Co. Ltd., a food importer and distributor based in Tokyo which will oversee the development and operations of Wendy's restaurants in Japan.
Higa Industries had operated 180 Domino's Pizza outlets in Japan before selling the business in February, 2010.
Wendy's will be playing catch-up after a yearlong absence and will have to compete against other fast-food giants in the country like MOS Burger, which is the second largest fast-food franchise in Japan after McDonald's. Wendy's announced aggressive plans for expansion in Japan and is also eyeing development in China and Brazil. They also have locations in Malaysia and the Philippines.
Wendy's/Arby's Group Inc., is the third largest quick-service restaurant in the US, with 10,000 restaurants in the US and 26 countries worldwide.
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