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Friday, April 18, 2014
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Wendy’s Investing USD 37 Million in Georgia, Opening 25 Restaurants

Written by Mariam Papidze, The FINANCIAL

10/02/2014 00:00 (67 Day 15:35 minutes ago)


The FINANCIAL -- A couple of new Wendy’s restaurants will be opened in Georgia in 2014. Wendy’s in Georgia is the product of Wissol Group’s partnership with the Wendy’s company.


The second restaurant of Wendy’s will be opened in the capital’s Vake district in April. The first Wendy’s restaurant in Georgia with great-tasting signature menu – featuring made-to-order hamburgers and sandwiches, fresh-made salads, French fries, chili and Frosty™ desserts, a Wendy’s Café offering customers 15 different kinds of famous Italian Trucillo brand premium quality coffee, party zone and game zone was launched in Tbilisi in 12th of September, 2013. Spread out on more than 1,000 square meters of space, Tbilisi Wendy’s is the largest among restaurants in the Wendy’s system worldwide.

“We very much like the Georgian consumer and the business environment and we continue to improve this environment,” said Emil Brolick, Wendy’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “Our main competitor is ourselves. Every morning when we get up we think of how to represent ourselves on the market better than we did the day before. We do not worry about the competition but we do worry about the consistent execution of the Wendy’s brand day in and day out. As for profitability, we only have one restaurant so far and it is doing extremely well,” he added.

“We’re grateful for the very positive response we have received from the people of Georgia. We’re thrilled with our partnership with Wissol Group and look forward to a bright future as we work together to grow the Wendy’s brand in Georgia,” Brolick said.

The U.S. Government is mobilized to help U.S. businesses expand into emerging markets, catalyzing revenues, jobs and growth opportunities both at home and abroad, says Richard Norland, United States Ambassador to Georgia. As he says, OPIC achieves its mission by providing investors with financing, guarantees, political risk insurance, and support for private equity investment funds. OPIC is providing financial facility to Wendy;s Georgia. 

“This February is a very good start for Georgia in general. Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili had very successful attendance at the Munich Security Conference. The Prime Minister has once again expressed Georgia’s commitments towards European and Euro Atlantic aspirations and what we heard from very high level representatives of European and American officials is that they will support Georgia in this direction. I know that the Georgian people are impatient to see some of the economic results of this co-operation. The Association Agreement with the European Union will bring economic benefits. But I would say that individual investments like the Wendy’s investment in Georgia are going to be a critical component of economic growth which we will see in the coming months,” said Norland.

“Successful entrepreneurship like Wendy’s in Georgia will show other entrepreneurs that it is profitable to operate here and will make them interested in Georgia. And it will have a positive impact on the investment climate and economic growth overall. A USD 37 million investment is a serious step for the Georgian economy. New job places will be created. This is a part of expanded economic cooperation which we would like to see between the United States and Georgia in coming years as well. We are absolutely delighted to establish a cooperation between the US government, Georgian companies and American companies. OPIC already supported the establishment of projects like the Marriott, Sante GMT and Teliani Valley. We want to continue to support this kind of joint economic activities. The message that we want to send to the world is that Georgia is ready for doing business,” Norland said.

“To give an idea about the progress and underline the hard work and effort that Wissol Group has done for promoting Wendy’s I would say that the restaurant serves more than 1,000 customers per day,” said Darrel van Ligten, President International of The Wendy’s Company. “And we have amassed over 60,000 friends on Facebook within a fourth month period of time. I think a great sign of being a successful business is the slot machine coins. We allocated 2,000 tokens from the very beginning, when the Wendy’s restaurant first opened up in Tbilisi . Now we have 35,000 tokens in circulation and in this process we are expanding to have an additional 200,000 tokens in circulation. And if we take into consideration the fact that seven new restaurants will be opened up, the number of coins should reach a million,” he added.

“Wendy’s has a well-established global brand image, passion for quality and exceptional customer service. We’re delighted that the company decided to enter and further develop the brand in Georgia and Azerbaijan in cooperation with Wissol Group. Our group tries to foster local economic development. The Wendy’s menu already contains local products, the quality of which has been tested and approved by American specialists,” said Dr. Pkhakadze.

Wissol Group signed license agreements with Wendy’s Company in 2012 to develop restaurants in Georgia and Azerbaijan. The first Wendy’s restaurant in Georgia opened on 12 September, 2013, in Tbilisi , featuring a great-tasting, signature menu with made-to-order hamburgers, fresh-made salads, fries, chilli and Frosty desserts. The restaurant also features Wendy’s Café - serving 15 different kinds of premium quality coffee - along with Party and Game Zones. Spread out over more than 1,000 m2 of space, with “A Cut-Above” interior design and unique service offerings, the flagship restaurant in Tbilisi is one of the largest Wendy’s restaurants in the world.



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