Wendy's is adding restaurants to its menu and plans to make the size of the new buildings smaller.
The Ohio-based quick-service chain plans to add about 1,000 eateries by 2020. In an effort to reduce costs and operate more efficiently, the burger chain plans to build smaller locations on smaller parcels of land for the majority of the eateries.
For competitive reasons, the company is not saying where the stores will be built, spokeswoman Heidi Schauer said. She did say that Chicago and its suburbs are on their radar.
"The Chicago area continues to be a very important market to us," Schauer said.
Wendy's has designed a new restaurant prototype called its "smart design," she added. Traditionally, the quick-service chain needed at least an acre of real estate to build its stand-alone units.
"It's difficult to obtain this much land in many communities," she said. The new design launched last spring allows the company to build on half an acre or less, she said.
In addition, the reduced design also lowers energy use and operating costs and allows for simpler and faster construction.
Wendy's currently has just more than 6,500 locations worldwide. The new restaurants locations would be both in North America, where the brand has commitments from operators to build at least 500 locations, and internationally -- where Wendy's wants to grow from 439 locations now to 850 units, according to the company.
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