DUBLIN, OHIO — The Wendy’s Co. has unveiled plans for “significant restaurant expansion” in Brazil. The expansion will be driven through Wendy’s Brazil, a joint venture formed in 2015 between affiliates of Infinity Services and Starboard, one of Wendy’s largest U.S. franchisees, and a subsidiary of The Wendy’s Co.
Wendy’s Brazil said it plans to hold the grand opening in mid-July for two restaurants in São Paulo.
Based in São Paulo, Infinity Services has brought several restaurant brands to Brazil in recent years. Starboard, led by veteran Wendy’s franchisee Andrew Levy, chief executive officer, and Marcos Silva, president, operates 182 Wendy's restaurants in nine states in the United States.
|Marcel Gholmieh, c.e.o. of Wendy’s Brazil and Infinity Services|
“We choose São Paulo for the Wendy’s introduction because it is the main financial and gastronomic capital of the country,” said Marcel Gholmieh, c.e.o. of Wendy’s Brazil and Infinity Services. “Our initial objective is to create flagship restaurant locations, establish the Wendy’s brand and then, longer-term, start thinking about potential partnerships with local groups in other areas of Brazil.”
Robert D. Wright, executive vice-president and chief operations officer and international at Wendy’s, said the company believes the joint collaboration will provide a “springboard for growth.”
|Robert D. Wright, executive vice-president and c.o.o. and international at Wendy’s|
“Starboard has a deep knowledge of Wendy’s operations and what it takes to run a successful Wendy’s restaurant, while Infinity Services is immersed in the Brazilian market and culture,” Mr. Wright said. “Brazil is one of the key global markets where we see considerable potential, and where we are investing additional energy and resources as part of our ‘narrow and deep’ international strategy. From the start, we want to ensure our restaurants in Brazil truly stand out in the minds of consumers in terms of food, service and atmosphere, and that we give them ‘a cut above’ experience they will be excited to tell others about.”Earlier this month, Wendy’s Japan, the fast-food chain’s franchisee in Japan, entered into a definitive agreement to acquire 100% of the equity of First Kitchen Ltd. from Suntory Holdings Ltd. The transaction includes 136 restaurants. At the time the transaction was announced Mr. Wright said Wendy’s was implementing a “narrow and deep” international strategy initially focusing on four key markets — Japan, India, Brazil and the Middle East.