DUBLIN, Ohio—The Wendy’s Company opened its first joint venture Wendy’s® restaurant in Japan on Dec. 26. Located in Tokyo’s upscale Omotesando area, the restaurant’s menu features signature Wendy’s products and innovative new menu options created exclusively for the Japanese market, including the Avocado Wasabi hamburger and the Truffle and Porcini Grilled Chicken sandwich.
Wendy’s Japan LLC plans to open approximately 100 Wendy’s restaurants within the next five years and estimates the long-term market potential to be about 700 restaurants. Wendy’s Japan LLC was established earlier this year as a joint venture between Wendy’s and Higa Industries Co. Ltd. Ernest Higa, founder of Higa Industries and CEO of the joint venture, successfully owned and operated 180 Domino’s Pizza stores in Japan before selling this business in February 2010.
“We are delighted to join with a highly capable partner, Ernie Higa, to bring Wendy’s brand to Japan and rapidly grow our presence in one of the largest quick-service restaurant markets in the world. The opening of our first joint venture restaurant in Japan is an important step in our international growth plans, and an expression of our confidence in the bright future of Japan," said Darrell van Ligten, President, International, The Wendy’s Company.