Dublin, Ohio-Wendy's International Inc. has taken another step outside of its core hamburger niche by buying a majority stake in Cafe Express, a Houston-based chain of fast-casual restaurants.

Wendy's purchased a 45 percent stake in Cafe Express in 2002 for $9 million. On Monday, it announced it was upping its ownership position to 70 percent. Cafe Express has 18 restaurants in Texas.

Wendy's has been working to diversify its restaurant portfolio in recent years. It acquired Tim Hortons, a Canadian doughnut and sandwich chain, Baja Fresh Mexican Grill, a fast-casual chain based in Newbury Park, California, and a 25 percent stake in Pasta Pomodoro, a chain of 24 Italian restaurants in the San Francisco Bay area. -Columbus Business Journal