US fast food chain Wendy's is looking to open 20 restaurants in the UK within the next few years.
The burger brand has already lined up sites in Oxford and Reading and is aiming to open a total of five locations by 2022.
Speaking during an investor call on 3 March, Wendy's chief financial officer Gunther Plosch said: "We are building about five restaurants in the UK in 2021. We will add another 10 or so in 2022. That's not completing our company build-out. At the end of the day, we want to get to about 20 company restaurants in the UK."
He added: "It's a hybrid model. We are recruiting at the moment very actively to make sure that we're having a lot of franchisee help to build out the UK market as a beachhead for Europe."
Wendy's ran around 10 company-owned restaurants in the UK in the 1990s, but pulled out of the market in 2000.
It hopes to use its return to the UK as a model for broader European expansion and is recruiting franchisees in other countries.
"International expansion remains critical to growing our Wendy's footprint, and we believe that we have the plans and the partners in place to make this happen," said Todd Penegor, chief executive officer of Wendy's.
The chain, known for its square burger patties, was founded in 1969 in Columbus, Ohio, and now operates more than 6,800 restaurants worldwide. It opened approximately 150 restaurants in 2020 and expects to launch a further 250 sites in 2021. Wendy's is aiming to reach around 8,000 global restaurants by the end of 2025.