American fast-food chain Wendy’s has returned to the UK after closing all its branches more than 20 years ago.
The iconic Dave’s Single hamburger is back on British soil as the company’s first restaurant officially opened in Reading today (2 June).
But it’s good news for fans of the Frosty elsewhere, as Wendy’s plans to expand to 400 different UK locations in the coming years.
That means major US classics like the Baconator and Spicy Chicken burger will be on menus for hungry Brits across the country.
And there will also be an exclusive range of items only available for UK customers, from the Veggie Stack to the Veggie Bites.
Customers are now able to go down to Friar Street in Reading to enjoy a famous square burger.
More than 400 people applied to work at the branch, with only 46 of them securing a job.
Explaining why Reading was chosen as Wendy’s first UK location, Michael Clarke, the chain’s UK operations director, said: “We didn't want to just pick your standard flagship location in the west end and places like that. We wanted to pick a location which was where every type of people live.”
He added that the company visited Reading pre-opening and knew it would be a “fantastic location”, with people “knocking on the door daily” wondering when the branch was going to open.
Wendy’s, now the third biggest burger chain in the world, was founded in 1969 by Dave Thomas in Columbus, Ohio, US.
Originally set up in the UK in the 1980s and 1990s, it closed all of its stores in the country in 2001.
Wendy’s plans to open other UK branches
As well as the new Reading location, the next fast-food hubs will open in Stratford and then Oxford.
These two locations are expected to open towards the end of this year.
But more sites are being explored, with a total of five branches opening in 2021.
According to a spokesperson for the company, the chain is “exploring additional opportunities in the London area”.
They said: “The brand is excited to enter the UK with company-owned and operated restaurants this year, and we are looking for franchises to grow with us across the United Kingdom.”
The company will also partner with Uber Eats to deliver food to homes across the country.