Penegor said Wendy's will build a further 10 bricks and mortar restaurants in the UK this year. The target number is more modest than a previously-stated target of 50 sites in 2022, though the larger number also includes delivery-only kitchens, which it is rolling out in partnership with Reef Technology.
He added that Wendy’s would open somewhere between 40 and 50 delivery-only kitchens in the UK in 2022, saying they helped the business address 'underpenetrated urban markets'.
The kitchens are designed and operated under the Wendy’s brand, and operated according to the QSR company’s specifications.
Speaking about the Wendy’s partnership with Reef, Penegor said: “So we opened 30 Reefs across the US, Canada and UK last year, and we’re feeling very good about the performance in every market.
“Out of the gate, we’re happy with it. Reef is happy with it. As you know, we’ve got a development commitment to do up in 700 restaurants. That was part of why we increased our 2025 targets.
“In 2022, we’re expecting to open about 150 to 200 Reef kitchens across the globe. About 65% of those will be in the US, about 10% of those would be in Canada, and about 25% in the UK. And as we’ve always talked about, the range would be $500,000 to $1m . And we’re on track with our expectations.
“So you’ll still continue to see that nice ramp up in the future years.”
Wendy's, which has tried and failed twice to secure a foothold in the UK in the past, has previously said it intends to become a major player in the country's fast food market with plans to open up to 400 sites.
The group opened the first UK restaurant of its new expansion drive in Reading back in June last, and has since followed that with sites in Oxford, London's Stratford, Croydon and, most recently, Brighton.
Penegor told analysts on the call that the Wendy's UK estate was 'driving some nice sales growth'.