Wendy's (WEN) isn't letting the pandemic stop it from ramping up new restaurant openings around the world.
The company plans to open 250 restaurants globally in 2021, giving it about 7,000 locations by year-end, Wendy's CEO Todd Penegor told Yahoo Finance Presents. Wendy's growth push this year will find it opening a good number of new locations in Canada, and its first five spots in the U.K.
From there, it's game on.
"We are on our way to drive toward 8,000 restaurants by 2025," Penegor said. "What we're really seeing is our business internationally was so strong pre-pandemic, you know it got hit a little bit with some of the challenges in various countries — but franchisees really feel great about where the Wendy's brand could go. So as the economies are opening back up a lot of our franchisees really are eager to start developing and providing more access to our brand and our hurry across the globe."
Wendy's ended 2020 with 6,828 restaurants opened worldwide. Nearly 950 of that total were international locations operated by franchisees.
Similar to its large rivals in fast-food such as McDonald's and Chipotle, Wendy's has seen an upswing in business during the pandemic as people ordered food via delivery apps or visited the drive-thru. Hence, Wendy's has the financials to pick the pace back up on opening new restaurants to drive post-pandemic growth.
Wendy's fourth quarter global same-restaurant sales increased 4.7%. Adjusted operating profits rose 37.3% from a year ago. The company ended the year with about $340 million in cash.
When Wendy's reported earnings on March 2, it noted U.S. same-restaurant sales were up 6% through the week-ended Feb. 21. Global same-restaurant sales were up 5%.
Brian Sozzi is an editor-at-large and anchor at Yahoo Finance. Follow Sozzi on Twitter @BrianSozzi and on LinkedIn.
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