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Wendy’s To Invest $20 Million In Expansions


March 29, 2001
Copyright © 2001 CARIBBEAN BUSINESS. All Rights Reserved.

Wendy’s will open 20 additional restaurants in the next 18 months at an investment of $20 million, said Jorge Colon Gerena, president of Wendco de Puerto Rico, which holds the exclusive rights to develop the chain in Puerto Rico.

Stores will be mostly freestanding in high-traffic areas. The first to be constructed will be in Santa Isabel. The expansion will entail the creation of 1,500 new jobs.

"Given the success Wendy’s has experienced in the past two years, we decided to fast-forward our expansion plans and become more aggressive," Colon Gerena told CARIBBEAN BUSINESS.

Wendy’s expansion started last year when the company opened six stores at an investment of $10 million.

Wendy’s Puerto Rico 2000 sales were $51 million, a 20% increase over the $41 million reported in 1999. Same-store sales—sales in stores that have been open at least a year—increased by 21% in 1999 compared to 1998, and in 2000 increased 12% compared to 1999. Same-store sales are considered the true measure in the retail industry.

Colon Gerena said with the expansions the company projects a 20% boost in sales in 2001 and again in 2002, when Wendy’s is expected to have 55 restaurants islandwide.

The company will also upgrade 10 existing stores this year at an additional investment of $3 million.

Wendy’s started remodeling all its 35-store chain in 1998. It has already upgraded seven restaurants in 1998 and four in 2000, improving lighting, modernizing kitchen equipment, and basically giving an inside- and outside-facelift to the locations. "Store remodeling has been key to our double-digit growth in the past two years," said Colon Gerena.

Local Wendy’s restaurants sell 40% more per unit than the average Wendy’s store on the U.S. mainland, according to Colon Gerena. Average sales per restaurant unit in Puerto Rico are $1.6 million a year, vs. $1.1 million in the U.S.

Wendco is a family-owned local company that has held the franchise rights for Wendy’s restaurants in Puerto Rico since 1979. Wendy’s is the third largest fast-food burger chain in Puerto Rico, behind Burger King and McDonald’s.

This Caribbean Business article appears courtesy of Casiano Communications.
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