Why You Should Become a Wendy’s Franchisee

Become a Wendy's Franchisee

Wendy’s® and its franchisees opened nearly 250 new restaurants across the globe in 2023. Together, we employ hundreds of thousands of people across more than 7,000 restaurants worldwide. 

Joining the Wendy's family as a franchisee opens the door to new and exciting life-changing opportunities, benefitting generations. Has the thought of owning a Wendy’s restaurant crossed your mind, but you don’t know where to start? If so, we’re here to help!

Not sure if owning a franchise is right for you? Consider these facts:

  • 2023 marked Wendy’s 13th consecutive year of global same-restaurant sales growth, with growth coming from our U.S. business and every region of our international business.
  • Wendy’s global same-restaurant sales grew by more than 4% in 2023.
  • Digital sales (mobile app, delivery, etc.) grew nearly 30% across 2023 to almost $2 billion, which is remarkable considering they were less than $250 million in 2019.
  • The average AUV for a new Wendy’s restaurant is nearly $2 million[i].
  • Wendy’s breakfast menu continues to be a game-changer with new products like the Breakfast Burrito and the Cinnabon® Pull-Apart, helping franchisees grow their businesses.

Wendy's has aggressive plans to grow globally which will largely be driven by traditional new restaurant development and working with new franchisees ready to grow around the world. 

The Wendy’s Brand: A brief history

Wendy's was founded in 1969 by Dave Thomas in Columbus, Ohio. Dave built his business on the premise, "Quality Is Our Recipe®”, which remains the guidepost of the Wendy's System. Dave loved two things above all else: food and people. That's why he started Wendy's. He believed in a place where you get great food, made fresh, served by nice people. At Wendy’s, we continue to carry on that simple but powerful idea, every day.

While Dave's popularity helped sell hamburgers, he also used it to bring attention to causes and issues that were important to him, like foster care adoption. This is most visible through our support of the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption® and its signature Wendy's Wonderful Kids® program, which seeks to find a loving, forever home for every child waiting to be adopted from the North American foster care system.

Who makes a good Wendy’s franchisee?

We're looking for growth-minded entrepreneurs who want to expand with a trusted and iconic brand.  We also want individuals who are enthusiastic about serving fresh-made, craveable food, providing exceptional customer service, building high-functioning restaurant teams and running great restaurants. Community service matters, too. We believe in giving something back to the communities where we do business because it’s the right thing to do. 

Preferably, Wendy’s is seeking operators who:

  • Are interested in single-unit and multi-unit opportunities through the development of new restaurants or by the acquisition of existing restaurants
  • Have single-unit or multi-unit restaurant (preferably quick service) experience with proven leadership skills
  • Are passionate, with a focus on restaurant experience, local market knowledge, and a strong willingness to learn and practice the Wendy's business model
  • Demonstrate exceptional managerial and business acumen
  • Have a growth-driven mindset with the vision to expand into multiple locations
  • Have access to adequate capital for reinvestment in Wendy's image activation program and new restaurant development

How do you become a Wendy’s franchisee?

A good first step is to visit www.wendys.com/franchising. This site is packed with practical resources and firsthand stories from current Wendy’s franchisees who describe their experiences with the brand.

To give you a flavor of the process, though: It begins with completing the Wendy’s Prospective Franchisee Questionnaire. Then there’s an introductory call and application, followed by a brand overview, geographic discussion, and in-market Discovery Day. The process ends with a Business Plan Leadership meeting and, if applicable, preliminary approval.

How much does a Wendy’s franchise cost?

Wendy’s requires that a new franchisee have a minimum liquidity of $500,000 and a minimum net worth of $1M. Additional financial requirements include:

  • $500 background check per person
  • $5,000 post-approval training fee
  • $50,000 technical assistance fee per restaurant over a 20-year term
  • 4-6% of gross sales allocated for Wendy’s royalties
  • 4% of gross sales allocated for advertising

Costs and fees are different outside of the U.S. and Canada and vary according to market opportunity. Costs may vary based on your area of interest and can be discussed during our initial conversations.

Wendy’s Build-to-Suit development fund also helps minimize a franchisee’s capital investment and allows franchisees to lease/sublease directly from Wendy’s for a slight premium.

How will Wendy’s help you?

When you become a Wendy’s franchisee, you’ll receive unmatched access to leaders at all levels of the Company, along with personal coaching, engagement, and ongoing support.  That includes a comprehensive operational and financial toolkit to help ensure your teams are successful and your business is thriving and growing. 

We also believe the brand truly thrives when our franchised System reflects our customers and restaurant teams. To create pathways for everyone who wants to grow with us, Wendy's created the Own Your Opportunity initiative.

In the U.S., we have worked with our preferred financial lenders to offer access to expanded economic opportunities for new franchisees. In Canada, we also established relationships with financial lenders who provide customized service and flexible solutions for new franchisees.

How long does the entire process take to become a franchisee?

It varies depending on the type of opportunity available (purchase of existing restaurants or development of new restaurants) and the management experience of the prospective franchisee, which will require the completion of Wendy’s training program.

Interested in learning more?

Visit https://www.wendys.com/franchise-faqs, where you will find answers to other questions that surround the franchise process. 

Ready to talk more about growing with Wendy’s System? Contact us today!

[i] $1.96M AUV in United States Franchised Restaurants. As explained in Wendy’s 2023 United States FDD, AUV is representative of average annual gross sales for Wendy’s United States franchised restaurants for the period January 2, 2022 to January 1, 2023. Survey included 5,313 restaurants, which had at least 52 weeks of consecutive sales within the period. From the restaurants surveyed, the overall gross sales ranged from $281,703 (minimum) to $6,494,305 (maximum). Your individual results may vary. There are no assurances that you’ll earn as much.

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