US burger chain Wendy's has set out ambitious expansion plans for the UK as it prepares to return to the country after almost two decades.
The American fast food chain said it was planning to open "hundreds of restaurants" across the country and create "at least one thousand" jobs over the next two years, employing 30-50 staff at each site.
Wendy's ran around 10 company-operated UK restaurants in the 1990s, but shut them down after complaining of high operating costs.
The group will open a site in Reading on 2 June followed by four more company-owned restaurants in locations including Stratford and Oxford in the second half of this year. It has also made a planning application for a site in Croydon.
Wendy's said in a statement: "The UK launch will spearhead a European-wide expansion as Wendy's looks to build on strong growth on the other side of the Atlantic, where the brand last year dethroned Burger King to become the #2 player in the US hamburger market."
The burger brand has signed a delivery deal with UberEats and will roll-out a dedicated UK app at its launch.
Wendy's UK menu will offer signature items such as its Baconater cheeseburger, ‘classic' baked potatoes and new items for a British audience such as the Veggie Stack. A breakfast menu will be available from launch featuring croissants and coffees.
Wendy's was founded in Columbus, Ohio in 1969 and now operates more than 6,800 restaurants worldwide. It is aiming to reach around 8,000 global restaurants by the end of 2025.
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