America’s fast food chain, Wendy’s, is attempting to expand into Australia and is looking for its first franchisee.
The US burger chain has set its eyes on Australia, joining other fast-food chains in attempting to expand into the down under. The brand is currently the world’s third largest fast-food burger chain with roughly 7000 outlets worldwide.
The first Wendy’s to open in America, or anywhere in the world, was in 1969 in Columbus Ohio. The restaurant launched with its trademark square burger that is still available on its menu today.
The chain is now setting its eyes on Australia, hiring consultancy firm DC Strategy to search for their first franchisee who will be tasked with coordinating all future franchises.
There is currently no reported plan for where the first store location will be and no pre-determined number of locations.
US chains testing the waters in Australia include Five Guys, operated by franchisee Seagrass Hospitality. And actor Mark Wahlberg’s burger chain Wahlburgers unveiled its first Australian store in Circular Quay, Sydney late last year.
Wendy’s has come under fire in the states recently for failing to join the Fair Food Program, which was launched in 2011 by the Coalition of Immokalee Workers to, “ensure workers are involved in enforcing, monitoring, and designing programs to protect workers in their workplaces through the food supply chain, relying on partnerships between workers, growers, and retail buyers to raise wages and adhere to workplace standards.”
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Many of Wendy’s main competitors have joined the program at least a decade ago.
The heat on Wendy’s had seen a recent resurgence as several high-profile cases of what has been called modern-day slavery on farms in the US and Mexico have demonstrated exactly why accountability is needed for corporations who seek to further exploitation at any chance they can.
“We’ve spent over seven years calling on Wendy’s to join this program that every single one of their competitors has been a part of for a decade, and their response to date has been to refuse to commit to join the program and ignore the voices of farmworkers,” said Cruz Salucio, a farm worker in Florida and staffer with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW). “Farm workers marched with the simple question for Wendy’s. And that question is, ‘can you guarantee there isn’t slavery in your supply chain?’ Unfortunately, because there’s no transparency, we haven’t been able to be sure that is not the case.”