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Wendy's Announces Massive Expansion, Promising 1,000 New Locations

06/04/2015 06:07 pm ET | Updated Jun 04, 2015

Wendy's took a hit in the burger wars last month, when research firm Technomic announced that archrival Burger King had passed Wendy's in U.S. sales in 2014, thereby ending the Dublin, Ohio-based chain's reign as the second-biggest burger vendor in the country.

But on Wednesday, Wendy's unveiled a plan that could bring it back to number two. Nation's Restaurant News reported that the chain will open 1,000 new locations by the end of 2020. Though this count doesn't include any potential store closures, it represents a huge expansion. There are currently about 6,500 Wendy's locations open around the world, so 1,000 more would raise the total by 15 percent.

Even 7,500 locations would be a far cry from the approximately 35,000 locations operated by McDonald's worldwide, so there's little chance of Wendy's becoming number one anytime soon. But Wendy's, in contrast to McDonald's, has momentum on its side: the chain's sales have consistently risen in recent years.

The overwhelming majority of these new outposts will be operated by franchisees, as has been the chain's wont in recent years. Franchisees will be required to build most of the new restaurants using the new designs that Wendy's first started developing in 2011, which have generally spurred higher sales than their older counterparts.

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