Wendy’s has added a new UK franchisee to the market, with its existing partners increasing their development agreements, chief executive Todd Penegor said. 

The news comes as the QSR brand reported Q3 results for the quarter ended 1 October 2023, with total revenues of $550m (£451m), up from $532m (£437m) in Q3 2022.

The international business delivered same-restaurant sales growth of 7.8% and achieved a 10th consecutive quarter of double-digit same-restaurant sales growth on a two-year basis, reaching 18.6%.

The Ohio-based fast food chain opened 34 net restaurants internationally during the period.

Speaking on an earnings call yesterday, Penegor said: “Looking toward the future, we made meaningful progress toward further solidifying our long-term development pipeline by securing incremental commitments with new and existing franchisees across every region in which we operate with international markets leading the way. 

”In the U.K., we recently added a new franchisee to the market, and our three existing traditional franchisees have increased their development agreements, highlighting their confidence in the long-term trajectory of the brand.” 

He added: “We continue to see strong results across our key international growth markets with many achieving double-digit one-year same-restaurant sales growth during the quarter. The ongoing success of our international segment is driven by strong execution and momentum across our global growth pillars.”

Wendy’s currently operates c30 sites in the UK, comprising both restaurants and delivery kitchens.

In September 2023, the chain confirmed six openings in Derby, Leeds, Peterborough, Guildford, Cambridge, and Middlesborough as part of its nationwide expansion plans.

It is also looking to expand further in the drive-thru channel as it aims for a 40-strong UK estate by the end of the year.

Penegor and CFO Gunther Plosch said the company is focused on capturing share in the breakfast and late night day parts.

“We’re on a journey trying to ingrain the breakfast day part,” Penegor said. “We have the opportunity to bring in our rest of the day customer, but we’re still in the early stages of breakfast.

“The consumer earning over $75,000 [£61,581] continues to be healthy and we’re continuing to see traffic growth. The under $75,000 consumer continues to be stressed – there’s less traffic there but we’re still holding our share.”

“We have compelling offers and promotions…we feel we can support both income cohorts.”

Commenting on the Q3 results, Penegor said: “We continued to make meaningful progress across our strategic growth pillars during the third quarter. Global same-restaurant sales accelerated on a 2-year basis and digital sales grew 30% versus the prior year, driving another quarter of Company-operated restaurant margin expansion.

“Additionally, we have now opened 152 new restaurants across the globe this year and further solidified our development pipeline through significant new agreements in key growth markets. This success drives best in class franchisee satisfaction and alignment. We remain relentlessly focused on delivering meaningful global growth, supported by compelling restaurant economic model improvement and acceleration across our strategic pillars.”