If all goes according to plan, 200 stores will be opened nationwide by 2034.
US fast food giant Wendy’s – not to be confused with the ice cream chain of the same name, already beloved Down Under – will make its Australian debut in the coming years.
As the company announced back in August, the first restaurants will launch by 2025 (hopefully at least a couple setting up in the new year), with an “ambition” to open some 200 stores across Australia by the end of 2034. It comes as part of a deal with Flynn Restaurant Group – the biggest restaurant franchise operator on Earth – who will be the exclusive master franchisee for Wendy’s restaurants in Australia. The company will spread, it’s reported, “through a combination of equity stores and sub-franchise partners”.
The launch was locked in after Wendy’s hosted a one-day popup store in Sydney in 2021, where curious customers lined up for hours to grab some of the US’ most famous burgers and desserts.
In a press release, Abigail Pringle – International President and Chief Development Officer for The Wendy's Company – said of the impending takeover: “Australia is a strategic market for long-term growth for Wendy's. Flynn Restaurant Group has incredible experience in the restaurant space, and we are thrilled to expand our relationship with them. They have a strong leadership team, great culture, vast industry knowledge, success with our brand in the US, and we are confident that Flynn Restaurant Group is the right partner to unlock growth for Wendy's in Australia."
So what can you expect to see on the menu when Wendy’s finally makes it to Australia? Well there’s the standard fast food fare of burgers, fries and soft drinks – Wendy’s famously uses square beef patties, and their best known burger is heart-clogging Baconator (which features two quarter-pound patties, classic yellow burger cheese, a whopping six pieces of bacon, ketchup and mayo) – but the American menu also has a range of chicken burgers, salads, sides and bakery options.
We’re expecting those chicken burgers to make the cut – the Classic Chicken Sandwich (which comes with lettuce, tomato, pickles and mayo) certainly will, but we’re also crossing our fingers for the Asiago Ranch Classic Chicken Club (with bacon, Asiago cheese, lettuce, tomato and ranch sauce) and the Loaded Nacho Chicken (with yellow cheese, spicy corn and tortilla chips, lettuce, tomato, poblano queso and chipotle sauce, on a jalapeño-cheddar bun) – and since every good fast food place needs a sweet option, we’re betting on seeing the iconic Frosty head Down Under.
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In the way of sides, fries are a given but the US menu’s topped fries (which include queso, cheese, chili cheese and Baconator options) would certainly bolster local offerings. We’re not too sure if they’ll bring the baked potatoes to Australia (in the US, there are five flavours to pick from), but we’re feeling good about the odds of chili copping an import. The breakfast fare – croissants, English muffins and American biscuits (like a savoury scone) – might be too ambitious for the initial launch, but here’s hoping it comes at some point. We’re also not too certain whether Aussie eaters will head to Wendy’s for their fresh-made salads (of which there are four on the US menu).
As for the rest of the classic beef burger options? The Baconator will most certainly make the import, but the Pretzel Baconator (which is, you guessed it, a Baconator on a pretzel bun) probably won’t. There’s a beef version of that nacho chicken burger, too, but we think Wendy’s will swing for some more classic fare, at least to start with: the Big Bacon Classic (which comes with bacon, cheese, lettuce, tomato, pickles, onion, ketchup and mayo), Dave’s Single (with all the same fixings, minus bacon) and Double Stack (with simple toppings of cheese, pickles, onion, ketchup and mustard) are all safe bets.
Head here to see the full US menu, and let us know on our socials – what do you hope to see on the menu when Wendy’s launches in Australia?