The U.S. fast-food chain 「ウエンディーズ・ハンバーガー」 (Wendy’s) opened their first store in Japan in the 銀座 (Ginza) area of Tokyo in 1980.
It was operated by the Japanese department store company Daiei until the chain began losing them money in 2002…then the hamburger chain’s Japanese stores were sold to the Japanese company Zensho.
Zensho owns the franchise rights to a number of restaurants in Japan. Mostly Japanese restaurants, but they also own the U.S.-based Mexican-food restaurant “El Torito Japan” and the American family restaurant “Coco’s Japan“, as well as Wendy’s Japan.
Their main focus is the popular chain of 牛丼 (beef-on-rice) restaurant 「すき家」 (Sukiya).
The Zensho company has been losing money with Wendy’s and has decided to end it’s franchise contract with the hamburger chain this month.
So that means that by 2009 December 31, the “Wendy’s” hamburger chain will no longer be in Japan.
Wendy’s is currently looking for another Japanese franchise partner so that they might be ale to re-enter the Japanese market.
It reminds me of Burger King‘s experience in Japan.
Burger King originally came to Japan in about 1999 but only offered a limited-menu…due to that and the fact that their prices were high compared to McDonalds, Burger King was forced to exit Japan in about 2001.
But, after researching the Japanese market, Burger King reopened their stores in Japan a couple years ago.
I wrote a post about some of the American and European companies that are doing business in Japan…click here to read it.