Wendy’s eyes Reading site as it prepares for return to UK shores

By James McAllister

- Last updated on GMT

US burger chain and fast food restaurant Wendy's prepares for UK return in 2021 in Reading

Related tags: QSR, Burger, Fast food, Restaurant, US chain

US burger chain Wendy’s is reportedly looking to acquire a site in Reading for its return to the UK, two decades after previously attempting to conquer these shores.

A spokeswoman for the fast food chain told BerkshireLive​ that Reading was one of the locations it was looking at, and that the chain has plans to enter the market with company owned and operated restaurants in early 2021.

It is understood that agents representing the brand have submitted plans to Reading Borough Council to acquire and convert a high street site previously occupied by a bank.

The plans address various technical aspects of the conversion, including a noise assessment and odour assessment to be approved by the authority.

It was reported in October that Wendy's was eyeing a return to the UK​.

Speculation had been rising following a one-day pop-up in London back in 2017, which many regarded as an opportunity for the chain to test the waters for a re-entry into the UK.

Wendy’s previously operated around 10 restaurants across the UK, including high-profile London sites on Shaftesbury Avenue - which is now occupied by McDonald’s - and Oxford Circus.

However, it made the decision to leave in 2000, surrendering its leases in order to concentrate on its domestic North American market.

Founded in Ohio in 1969 and operating more than 6,000 franchised and company-owned restaurants in the US, Wendy’s is one of a number of US fast food giants that still regard the UK as key to its expansion plans. 

Last year controversial US chain Chick-fil-A also chose Reading​ as the location for its UK debut.

However, the site was subsequently marked for closure​ little more than a week later after controversy surrounding its founders’ religious beliefs and reported donations to groups with a record of anti-LGBTQ discrimination led to calls for a boycott of the restaurant.

It subsequently tried to quietly open a second location at the Macdonald Aviemore hotel​ in the Scottish Highlands, but after three months of trading that site also closed​. 

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