JAE Restaurant Group has announced it is investing in more Wendy's locations. According to a recent Franchise Times article, the largest multi-unit franchisee is adding another 34 locations into its operations in Knoxville, Tennessee, bringing its total number to 212 in Florida, New Mexico, Texas and Tennessee.
“We chose to invest in the Knoxville market because it’s one of the highest growth areas in the country right now, thanks to its friendly tax environment, affordable housing, younger population and large number of university students,” said Jhonny Mercado, co-chairman of JAE Restaurant Group. “These favorable demographics are perfect for Wendy’s, and we feel that Knoxville is an under-penetrated market for the brand.”
JAE will be remodeling a handful of the Knoxville locations to reflect updated features such as Wi-Fi, flatscreen TVs, digital menu boards and fireplaces. The sale by Wendy’s is part of the company’s effort to shift to more franchise locations with a goal of having only 5 percent of the 6,500 restaurants be company owned in what it is calling its Systems Optimization Initiative.