Wendy's Wants to Go Big in Canada

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Wendy's is looking to the north to kick-start growth.

The chain announced on Thursday that it is launching a growth campaign in Canada. The company's efforts to grow Wendy's in Canada, where the chain currently has 367 restaurants, have been stagnant for the last 10 years. However, that's about to change.

Wendy's is kicking off its Canadian campaign with a refranchising push. The company plans to sell almost all of its 137 company-owned restaurants in Canada to franchisees, hoping it will result in swifter expansion. 

Related: Fatburger Debuts Its Version of the Double Down

The profits from the sales will be used to promote the development of more franchise restaurants in Canada. By 2020, the company hopes to boost restaurant count by one-third, or, about 122 new restaurants. Additionally, the chain plans to redesign and modernize about 60 percent of its Canadian restaurants.

Why is Wendy's focusing on Canada now? The company says that refranchising in Canada is the next logical step after completing the refranchising of 418 restaurants in the U.S. And, with essentially no new restaurants in Canada in the last decade, the brand needs something fresh to establish an effective presence in the market.

"We intend to prioritize the sale of the Canadian restaurants to successful, well-capitalized franchisees with a demonstrated history of operational excellence and a stated commitment to image activation and new restaurant development," Wendy's CEO Emil Brolick said on Thursday in an earnings call.

Related: McDonald's Tests a 60-Second Drive-Thru Guarantee

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