Wendy’s is leaving Japan

12 Dec

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.

A "Wendy's" shop in Tokyo

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.

13 Responses to “Wendy’s is leaving Japan”

  1. tokyo5 June 24, 2010 at 12:29 am #

    Wendy’s has announced that they’re already planning their return to Japan.

    So I guess Wendy’s will be back in Japan before long.


  2. Ted March 7, 2010 at 5:23 am #

    I ate at Wendy’s in Kyoto, and it was the best burger from a chain I’ve ever had. The veg was fresh and crispy, the pattie was delicious and the bun toasted to perfection. The place was spotless, and while I was there, there was a worker wiping the bins and table over and over. I’m sad they’re closing. They were good.


    • tokyo5 March 7, 2010 at 12:08 pm #

      Wendy’s has left Japan…but all restaurants in Japan (even fast-food) give excellent service and products like that.

      What country do you live in?
      When did you visit Japan?


  3. Sir Pent December 14, 2009 at 9:53 am #

    I’m not saying it was rational in any way…


    • tokyo5 December 14, 2009 at 10:40 pm #

      I guess everyone has some kind of eccentricity. 😉


  4. cuteandcurls December 14, 2009 at 8:51 am #

    Ive never tried Wendys. Burger King being expensive than McD? Never knew that fact however Burger King makes the best burgers and fries compare to McD’s…


    • tokyo5 December 14, 2009 at 10:37 pm #

      >Ive never tried Wendys.

      Really? Don’t they have Wendy’s in your country?

      >Burger King being expensive than McD? Never knew that

      At least in Japan, it is.

      >Burger King makes the best burgers and fries compare to McD’s…

      Burger King‘s burgers are good (McDonalds seems just as good to me…but I don’t eat alot of fast-food).
      But I think McDonalds fries are best.


      • cuteandcurls December 19, 2009 at 5:06 pm #

        Just discovered today that there is a Wendy’s here ..so I might try it out soon! It must be quite new as I remember where it is used to be a 7-11


      • tokyo5 December 19, 2009 at 7:08 pm #

        Maybe they’re leaving this country and moving to yours! 😉


  5. sixmats December 13, 2009 at 6:37 am #

    This is too bad. Ever since coming to Sendai I’ve been missing Wendy’s. I guess I’ll have to get my fix in the States.


    • tokyo5 December 13, 2009 at 10:58 am #

      You should visit Tokyo before the end of this month! 😉

      >I guess I’ll have to get my fix in the States.

      (How often do you visit America?)


  6. Sir Pent December 13, 2009 at 4:43 am #

    Silly Fact About Me:
    I refused to eat Wendy’s food for years because they have square hamburgers. It bugged me.


    • tokyo5 December 13, 2009 at 10:57 am #

      Really? Just because the burgers are square?

      My first job when I was 16 was at Wendy’s in Florida.


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