Wendy's Tries New Strategy for a Pandemic Trend

It's opening delivery-only kitchens in big cities
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 12, 2021 6:05 PM CDT
Updated Aug 13, 2021 1:40 AM CDT
Wendy's Tries New Strategy for a Pandemic Trend
File photo of a Wendy's meal.   (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, File)

Wendy’s plans to open 700 delivery-only kitchens by 2025 to meet the growing demand from people who want their fast food brought to them, per the AP. Wendy's said the kitchens will primarily operate in big cities in the US, Canada, and the United Kingdom, where the chain has fewer brick-and-mortar stores. The hamburger chain will open its first 50 delivery kitchens this year. The Ohio-based chain is partnering with Reef Technology Inc., a Miami company that runs 5,000 delivery kitchens in 30 cities worldwide. Reef will build the locations and hire workers for the kitchens, each of which are expected to see sales of $500,000 to $1 million per year. Wendy’s will get royalties of around 6% of sales.

Wendy’s said third parties like DoorDash, Uber Eats, and Grubhub will deliver the food. Demand for restaurant delivery was already growing before the pandemic but surged when restaurants closed their dining rooms last year. Delivery accounted for 3.3% of US restaurant traffic in the year that ended in June 2019, according to NPD Group. That rose to 8.4% in the year that ended in June 2021. Wendy’s said its digital sales, which includes delivery and mobile orders for pickup, hit 7.5% of total sales in the second quarter of this year. That’s up from 2.5% in 2019.

(More Wendy's stories.)

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