DUBLIN, OHIO – The Wendy’s Company recently announced a new franchise recruitment initiative called Own Your Opportunity.

The quick-service restaurant chain said the system would create pathways for entrepreneurs to grow with the company. Wendy’s is looking to support and increase restaurant ownership of underrepresented populations, specifically among women and people of color.

“To be the best Wendy’s we can be, we must make available opportunities for everyone who wants to grow with us,” said Todd Penegor, president and chief executive officer of Wendy’s. “The Wendy’s brand truly thrives when our system reflects the diversity of our customers and restaurant teams, and when our franchisees are highly engaged and growing together with us.”

The initiative plans to create more competitive liquidity and net worth requirements for all new franchise applicants. Wendy’s also wants to expand economic opportunities with three preferred US financial lenders: City National Bank, Huntington National Bank and Wintrust Franchise Finance.

The company noted that in October 2021, it became a mission partner with First Women’s Bank.

“We believe that increasing diversity of thought and experience will bring new ideas and innovations to Wendy’s, which will help us continue to grow together for decades to come,” said Abigail Pringle, Wendy’s president, international and chief development officer. 

Wendy’s secures and builds restaurant locations and hands over turnkey solutions to franchisees. Priority will be given to those franchisee candidates who cannot otherwise access the required capital for new restaurant development. The company also worked on avenues such as the build-to-suit development fund to help fuel growth in underdeveloped trade areas.

The company also introduced restaurant formats that enable ownership of Wendy’s with a lower financial commitment.

Finally, Wendy’s conducted franchise surveys and held various focus group discussions and business reviews to help discover tools and resources needed for existing franchisees.