First Wendy’s Restaurant in Tbilisi to Open in 2013

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The FINANCIAL — The world famous quick-service hamburger company Wendy’s and one of the leading Georgian companies Wissol Group plan to open the first Wendy’s restaurant in the country in 2013.


Wendy’s and Wissol intend to open 25 restaurants in Georgia and Azerbaijan within the next ten years.

Georgia is a dynamic market with long-term growth potential for the Wendy’s brand, and plays an important role in our continued expansion in Eastern Europe. We’re privileged to have an opportunity to team up with a strong, highly capable organization like Wissol Group which shares our passion for quality and exceptional customer service,” said Darell van Ligten, President, International, The Wendy’s Company.

“We believe that our great-tasting, signature menu — featuring made-to-order cheeseburgers, premium chicken sandwiches, fresh salads, French fries, chilly and Frosty desserts — will appeal to Georgian customers who are looking for more options and greater variety with ‘a cut above’ quality,” van Ligten said.

“We are very proud to be bringing Wendy’s to the Georgian market where we will focus our development efforts over the next several years. Wendy’s has a well-established global brand image and standardized business practices that will immediately be attractive to Georgian customers. We are also excited that, through Wendy’s, The Wissol Group will bring additional jobs to our local economy. After French oil giant TOTAL and Italian API, we expect Wendy’s to become one of the most important brands in our growing business portfolio,” said Samson Pkhakadze, President of Wissol Group.

According to Vera Kobalia, Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia, bringing the Wendys’ brand to the Georgian market is a significant development.

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“Wendy’s is one of the most famous US brands around the world. Before establishing business relations in Georgia Wendy’s analyzed the business environment in the country and then decided to sell its franchise. Other US companies will now see that it’s safe to do business in Georgia and that the business environment is attractive for world famous brands. Wendy’s entrance to Georgia is a green light for other different companies to come here from all over the world,” Kobalia said.

“Many people will be employed by Wendy’s. Many young people in Georgia will have the opportunity to work for one of the biggest US companies. This experience will prove vital for them in their future career development,” Kobalia stated.

“A very big multinational company is entering the Georgian market. This company has been among the top ten multinational brands for several years already. Wissol Group is happy that Wendy’s is here. In general when such big companies appear on the market it means that the country is interesting in terms of investment and safety issues. The corruption level in Georgia is really low, otherwise Wendy’s wouldn’t have chosen to enter the country,” Pkhakadze said.

“We had some negotiations with certain large, multinational brands during the ‘90s but we could not manage to bring them here. The current investment climate and improved conditions however have supported us greatly in bringing such a famous brand here. Wissol Group did its best during the negotiations process. Our group has increased greatly over the last few years. The number of our companies and list of our retail objects has also risen. Wendy’s decided to give us franchising rights. We will create a really good network in Georgia as well as in Azerbaijan in a few years time,” Pkhakadze said.

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According to van Ligten, Wendy’s is going to be completely different from its competitor restaurants already existing on the market.

“Our competitors also have very successful businesses all over the world. We are going to be different though. The only way to be successful among such strong competitors is to be different. You have to communicate this difference to consumers. As opposed to our competitors, our hamburgers are made to order rather than being made in advance. We create our products specially for our customers. We pay a lot of attention to service quality and experience,” van Ligten stated.

“We have been very successful in the countries we have entered recently including Japan and Argentina. We have to work hard to prove to our Georgian customers how much better we will be. Wendy’s burgers are world famous for their taste, so I do hope that Georgians will soon have the chance to enjoy them,” van Ligten said.



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