If you’d like to trade your bubble and squeak for a perfectly square hamburger, I’ve got great news for you: Wendy’s is returning to the United Kingdom following a two-decade absence. The burger chain issued a statement that it’s aiming to open 300 to 400 outlets throughout the UK, CNN reports. The brand’s UK menu will reportedly include all the faves, including the Baconator and the mighty Frosty. Wendy’s profits-saving breakfast menu will also debut in the United Kingdom at launch, as will a plant-based entree called the Veggie Stack.
The first Wendy’s will open in Reading on June 2, just a few weeks from now. (!) Four restaurants in east London and Oxford are also slated to open later this year, and it looks like the brand is planning a major expansion to follow. For more information, please see the following semi-ominous statement from Wendy’s:
“The UK launch will spearhead a European-wide expansion as Wendy’s looks to build on strong growth on the other side of the Atlantic, where the brand last year dethroned Burger King to become the number two player in the US hamburger market.”
You’ll recall that Popeyes also unveiled plans to expand to Britain for the first time, shooting for 350 UK restaurants over the next decade. So what’s behind the British Invasion? If I had to guess, I’d say it’s a response to the ongoing fast food boom partially prompted by pandemic dining habits and drive-thru mania. But can chains like Wendy’s sustain that growth while sprinkling their workers with paltry pay? We’ll find out, I guess.