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last updated 05/07/2022

Wendy’s New Zealand up for sale

last updated 05/07/2022

23 June 2022 – The New Zealand arm of the well-known Wendy’s hamburger chain is on the market, including all 22 company-owned stores

Wendy’s NZ, the current master franchisee, owner and operator of all Wendy’s hamburger restaurants throughout New Zealand, is on the market for the first time in 34 years. 

The brand was brought here in 1988 when Danny and Dianne Lendich opened the first store in Te Atatu after a deal between the international franchisor and the original master licensee fell through. The Lendich family went on to develop 22 restaurants – 12 in Auckland, two in the South Island and eight throughout the North Island – all of which are company-owned and included in the sale. There are no sub-franchisees.

With Danny and Dianne Lendich now in their 70s, their daughter and CEO of Wendy’s NZ Danielle Lendich, says business has never been better, but now is the right time for change. 

Internationally, the American burger brand has over 7,000 restaurants and is planning to accelerate global growth, opening over 90 new restaurants in the first quarter of 2022. The company says it is looking for a qualified franchisee who can help grow and scale the business throughout New Zealand. While sub-franchising is not specifically mentioned, it is a strategy Wendy’s uses in other countries.

Traditionally, New Zealand has been an attractive market for international brands, with Carl’s Jr. and Wendy’s having both achieved world-record sales levels for opening weeks here. However, opportunities for franchisees have been limited, with both companies operating via national master licensees who have not sub-franchised. This has left the owner/operator burger market open to McDonald’s (which has over 170 restaurants here) and locally-developed gourmet burger franchises such as BurgerFuel and Burger Wisconsin.

Record sales

Danielle Lendich says that Wendy’s NZ is performing extremely well and is ready for growth.

‘Operations are strong across the country and we’re experiencing record sales. Even during the worst of Covid, there has been huge demand. Obviously there have been challenges, but it’s a testament to the team that we’ve been able to get though the disruption and emerge even stronger.’

A family-owned business with deeply-rooted values and relationships, Wendy’s NZ has many staff and suppliers who have been with the company for decades, and suppliers of beef, sauces and fresh produce going back to year one,’ Danielle says.

‘We hope the new franchisee will operate with the same core values and look after not just the business, but the wider Wendy’s family. The future is very bright at Wendy’s.’

The sale of Wendy’s NZ / WendCo (NZ) Limited is being handled by Spencers Chartered Accountants & Advisers in New Zealand and internationally by partner Azure.

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