Wendy’s plans to open 700 delivery-only kitchens by 2025 to meet the growing demand from people who want their fast food brought to them.
Wendy’s said the kitchens will primarily operate in big cities in the U.S., Canada and the United Kingdom, where the chain has fewer brick-and-mortar stores. The hamburger chain will open its first 50 delivery kitchens this year.
Dublin, Ohio-based Wendy’s is partnering with Reef Technology Inc., a Miami company that runs 5,000 delivery kitchens in 30 cities worldwide.
In a conference call with investors Wednesday, Wendy’s President and CEO Todd Penegor said Reef will build the locations and hire workers for the kitchens, each of which are expected to see sales of $500,000 to $1 million per year. Wendy’s will get royalties of around 6% of sales.
Demand for restaurant delivery was already growing before the pandemic but surged when restaurants closed their dining rooms last year. Delivery accounted for 3.3% of U.S. restaurant traffic in the year that ended in June 2019, according to NPD Group. That rose to 8.4% in the year that ended in June 2021.