A Wendy's Vet Gets Some Restaurants



Wendy's refranchising has lured some impressive operators. The latest comes directly from the chain's Dublin, Ohio headquarters.

John Peters, the senior vice president of North America operations for the burger chain, is partnering with 73-unit Wendy's franchisee Rick Holland to buy 38 locations in the Phoenix market. That deal brings the number of restaurants sold, or those in announced deals, to 210—meaning the chain's refranchising is already nearly halfway done.

Meanwhile, Bob Wright will rejoin Wendy's early next month, and will assume the COO job after a transition period with Peters. Wright is a Wendy's veteran who most recently was the interim CEO at Charley's Grilled Subs.

Wendy's has been trying to refranchise 425 units and has a goal to sell them by early next year, but at its current rate that sale will be finished sooner. In any event, demand for those units has been notably heavy, enabling the company to ink deals that include remodel agreements while driving stores to certain franchisees. Stores have been sold to large operators NPC International, Junior Bridgeman and Chauncey Billups and another existing Wendy's operator, Cedar Enterprises.

Holland currently operates 73 locations in Arizona, Colorado, Michigan, South Dakota and Ohio. Peters will lead operations for those restaurants as well as the 38 units the company is buying from Wendy's. That deal is expected to close in the first quarter of next year, and it includes an agreement to add new units and reimage some existing locations.

Wright started at Domino's Pizza, where he worked for 11 years before moving on to Wendy's. He's held numerous positions there, including the vice president of operations and training integration. He then moved on to positions at Checkers and then Charley's, where he was the COO. "He will focus on further improvement in delivering the brand promise for customers in all of our North America restaurants," Wendy's CEO Emil Brolick said, noting that Wright will head the company's "People Activation" effort to improve customer service.