How to Build a Wendy’s Franchise
Insights from Legacy Capital Partners
Two experienced investors have traded in Wall Street for Main(e) Street. Neal Wadhwa and Aneil Lala, managing partners of Legacy Capital Partners, recently identified an opportunity to purchase ten Wendy’s® restaurants in Maine and immediately pursued it.
Aneil and Neal spent the last 15 and nine years, respectively, covering the consumer and real estate sectors for principal investment groups; additionally, they have always taken a special interest in food companies because a number of their extended family members own franchises.
“We wanted to be the hands-on business owner rather than the arm’s-length investor,” said Aneil. “We have had the good fortune of being able to marry our experience evaluating the restaurant space with valuable insights from our families, and we have a deep network of advisors that we can lean on for guidance.”
The duo always had a soft spot for Wendy’s growing up – often frequenting their local Wendy’s for their go-to Jr. Bacon Cheeseburger meal – and have always been enamored by the brand. After considering opportunities with Wendy’s for quite some time, the day came to establish a new franchise organization in Maine, purposely built on family and community.
Opening a Wendy’s Franchise: The Key to Success
The process for applying and being approved to join the Wendy’s franchise system is no easy feat, and the thorough approval process is what ultimately validated Aneil and Neal’s instinct that Wendy’s focus on a strong culture and franchisee fit were paramount to their success.
“Wendy’s has cracked the code for being consistently exceptional, and their vetting process reflects that,” Aneil noted. “They have a long track record of preserving a true family atmosphere in everything they do, which resonates with our own philosophy and mission. The brand has caught lightning in a bottle, and it’s our responsibility to uphold that success.”
If you’re interested in learning more about Wendy’s franchising opportunities, check out the below pages, or contact us directly at Wendys.Franchising@wendys.com.
A Focus on Community
The Legacy team considers a strong connection to the communities they serve as an important measure of success. In fact, the restaurant footprint is what they were most excited about. The restaurant locations are situated along Maine’s coast – from the seaside commercial hub of South Portland to Ellsworth, one of the state’s fastest-growing cities.
“Maine is unique in that there is an inherent geographic isolation aspect,” shared Aneil. “It’s not like other geographies, where you have a younger or snowballing population base. People who live here have a strong sense of community and association, so the way you grow organically is through repeat business. You have to do right by your customer in Maine, and that’s the hallmark of our business model.”
Fortunately for the duo, Jeff Marshall, who joined Wendy’s in 1976 and served as the Director of Operations of the ten Maine restaurants for the past decade, was quick to step in. Jeff and the Legacy Capital Partners team are prioritizing significant community engagement in addition to showing their commitment to their employees through additional benefits, process improvements and more. For this team, it’s not just about the food – it’s about the entire experience offered to customers, employees and the community.
“Jeff promotes the same values that we do, which are built on the bedrock of integrity, honesty and an unwavering commitment to the customer—a message that is consistent with that of the Wendy’s brand,” said Neal.
“We have a duty to invest in the community as owners of businesses that have had the good fortune of loyal patrons,” added Aneil. “We have several ideas for ways to engage the surrounding neighborhoods, including sponsoring sports teams—Jeff is a softball coach—and being more active with local schools, hospitals, churches, and first responders. It’s not just about providing meals to paying customers – we want to build a presence within and give back to our communities. That’s our real legacy.”