Wendy’s back in Tokyo

26 Dec

I wrote before that Wendy’s, the American fast-food hamburger chain, closed all of their stores in Japan two years ago.

And then, as I wrote in another post, they announced last March that they would be re-opening their stores in Japan beginning in autumn (2011).

But, about a week after that announcement, the 2011 March 11 earthquake struck northern Japan and caused Wendy’s Japan to delay their re-opening.

Well, Wendy’s first store in Japan since they closed all of their stores here almost exactly two years ago will open tomorrow (2011 December 27th).
It is located in 表参道 (the Omotesando area of Tokyo) on the famous 「表参道通り」 (“Omotesando-doori“) road.

Their menu will include “regular” Wendy’s items…but it will also have some “only-in-Japan” things such as a “「フォアグラ・ロッシーニ」 (Foie Gras Rossini Burger)” and an “「アップル&ナッツ・チキン・サラダ」 (Apple & Nut Chicken Salad)“.

Personally, French food isn’t one of my favorites. I don’t think I’ll be trying the “Foie Gras Rossini Burger”…but I do like Wendy’s chili!

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18 Responses to “Wendy’s back in Tokyo”

  1. Bryn December 26, 2011 at 10:28 pm #

    Burger King did the same thing. Why do they keep coming and going?

    • tokyo5 December 26, 2011 at 11:18 pm #

      >Burger King did the same thing.

      Yes, I remember when Burger King came to Japan the first time about fifteen years ago or so. They weren’t successful here that time around and left Japan…but came back a few years ago.

      Dunkin’ Donuts was in Japan when I first came here…but they weren’t successful here either and left Japan years ago.

      >Why do they keep coming and going?

      In the case of Burger King and Wendy’s, they got a new partner in Japan who had a plan to “Japan-ize” the menu a bit a make the chains more popular with Japanese customers.

      Dunkin’ Donuts, though, are too sweet for Japanese taste…that’s why they failed here but the less sweet Mister Donut is immensely popular here.

      • carlos March 10, 2012 at 10:49 am #

        Sorry but I call bullxxxx on your post. The MUCH sweeter Krispy Kremes is far more successful than Mister Donuts in Japan. Japanese people LOVE to say they dont like US sweet tastes, but the facts tell a different story: Krispy Kremes is sweeter than Dunkin Donuts by far. But Krispy Kremes is KILLING IT here. Mister Donuts is practically filing for Bnkrptcy now that Krispy took all their customers. Dont fall into the Japanese have “adult” tastes and dont like “sweet American food”. Its BS. Snickers is sweeter in Japan than the US and so is Coca Cola.

      • tokyo5 March 11, 2012 at 1:31 am #

        >I call bullxxxx on your post.

        Actually, I think you mean my “comment” above, not the entire “post”.

        >The MUCH sweeter Krispy Kremes is far more successful than Mister Donuts in Japan.

        Yes, Krispy Kreme is sweeter than Mister Donut…but they’re not more successful or popular.
        Krispy Kreme had long lines when they first opened shops in Japan but that was simply because they were new.

        But I don’t know anyone here who would chose Krispy Kreme over Mister Donut.
        There are many more Mister Donut stores around Japan than Krispy Kreme…and, actually, I know of a shopping mall that has both a Krispy Kreme and a Mister Donut—the Mister Donut always has more customers.

        So, I still say that Mister Donut is more successful and popular in Japan than Krispy Kreme.

        >Krispy Kremes is KILLING IT here.

        How do you know? I think they’re probably doing fine and making a profit…but not more than Mister Donut.
        My opinion, of course.

        >Snickers is sweeter in Japan than the US and so is Coca Cola.

        Granted, I don’t have much of a sweet tooth so it’s been awhile since I’ve tried either of those…especially in America.
        But I’ve heard people say it the other way around.

        So, you may disagree with me…but you haven’t convinced me.

  2. AstroNerdBoy December 27, 2011 at 2:12 am #

    Wendy’s is my favorite fast food burger, so glad to hear it is back in Japan.

    My memories of BK in Japan are clouded, because we also had a BK at Yokota AB, so we didn’t often seek out a BK off base. However, I most certainly remember Dunkin’ Donuts being in Japan. There were many of us from base who went down to Fussa and I always scored my Chocolate Creme Filled donuts. ^_^

    My understanding about Wendy’s departure didn’t have anything to do with the menu per se, but the Japanese partner it previously had deciding that they wanted to focus on their core business — beef bowls. I remember seeing pictures of there being long lines at various Wendy’s on their last day open.

    • tokyo5 December 27, 2011 at 12:04 pm #

      >Wendy’s is my favorite…glad to hear it is back in Japan.

      Are you in Japan? Will you go to the Wendy’s grand re-opening today?

      >My memories of BK in Japan are clouded, because we also had a BK at Yokota AB

      Were you in the American military stationed in Japan?

      When Burger King first came to Japan in the late ’90s, they bought out the ailing “Love” hamburger chain (which was a Japanese fast-food chain that had many shops around Japan when I first arrived here), and replaced all of their stores with a Burger King.
      But, at that time, they only offered a limited menu and their prices were kinda steep for fast-food—so they weren’t popular.
      They came back to Japan with a new partner and a better business plan…so they’re more successful this time.

      >Wendy’s departure didn’t have anything to do with the menu…partner…wanted to focus on their core business

      Yes, that’s right. But that company said that the reason they were doing that and not renewing their contract with Wendy’s was because their 牛丼 (“beef bowl”) restaurants were lucrative and Wendy’s wasn’t.

      >long lines at various Wendy’s on their last day open

      Yes. But that’s because it was their last day in Japan…but it wasn’t usual for them.

  3. bartman905 December 27, 2011 at 8:21 am #

    I noticed that Krispy Kreme seems also very popular in Japan and it is very sweet. It does not seem very popular in US and Canada anymore because people are more concerned about diet and health, especially sugar.

    • tokyo5 December 27, 2011 at 12:09 pm #

      >I noticed that Krispy Kreme seems also very popular in Japan and it is very sweet.

      When Krispy Kreme Donuts first came to Japan, they had very long lines of customers…but that’s because they were something new.

      These days they don’t have such long lines at their shops.

  4. Yuki December 28, 2011 at 9:44 am #

    A friend of mine went to Krispy Kreme just after its opening and had to wait in a very long line. But they offered free donuts to the people in line. She says that the free donuts were warmer and tastier than ones she actually bought.

    • tokyo5 December 28, 2011 at 9:59 pm #

      I’ve heard that from someone else before too.

      I don’t go to Krispy Kreme even now when there aren’t long lines…and I certainly didn’t go there when there were!

  5. musings December 29, 2011 at 3:18 pm #

    We’ll be in Tokyo this coming spring, but I think we’ll pass on Wendys.

    • tokyo5 December 29, 2011 at 3:36 pm #

      I agree. There are plenty of excellent places to eat in Tokyo without resorting to fast-food.

  6. musings December 29, 2011 at 3:19 pm #

    I forgot to say I’m looking for the perfect okonomiyaki like we had in Hiroshima. I haven’t had anything quite as good since…. and I’ve looked.

    • tokyo5 December 29, 2011 at 3:40 pm #

      “Hiroshima-style” okonomiyaki is famous.

      Here’s a website that lists a number of “Hiroshima-style” okonomiyaki restaurants in Tokyo:

      http://www.asahi-net.or.jp/~yi4e-yni/oindex.htm (It’s in Japanese).

      Also, have you ever tried もんじゃ焼き (“Monja-yaki”)…which is a dish from Tokyo?
      It’s kinda like a “Tokyo-style” okonomiyaki (not actually okonomiyaki but similar).

      • musings December 30, 2011 at 3:12 pm #

        Nope, haven’t had that, but I’ll try to remember when we get there. Thank you for the link.

      • tokyo5 December 30, 2011 at 4:55 pm #

        >Nope, haven’t had that

        I can’t believe you’ve never tried “Monja“. It’s a Tokyo specialty. If you visit Tokyo, you should definitely try it!

  7. Donald January 1, 2012 at 10:52 pm #

    I sure hope Wendy’s makes a comeback soon. I can’t honestly say I’m the biggest fast food fan in the world, but Wendy’s is one of the fast food chains that I like. No one in Japan should be denied that juicy, Jr. Bacon Double Cheeseburger goodness, or the sweet freeze of a Wendy’s frosty. Sigh…COME BACK WENDY’S! COME BACK!!

    • tokyo5 January 1, 2012 at 11:26 pm #

      It already is back in Japan…well, Tokyo only so far. As I wrote in this post, they opened one shop in Tokyo last Tuesday.

      They plan to open more of them around the country over time.

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