Industry News | August 10, 2010

Arby's, Wendy's Prep Big Russian Expansion

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Wendy’s/Arby’s International, a subsidiary of Wendy’s/Arby’s Group Inc., announced the signing of a major restaurant development agreement with Wenrus Restaurant Group Limited (WRG), an affiliate of Food Service Capital, in the Russian Federation.

The agreement calls for the development of 180 dual-branded Wendy’s and Arby’s restaurants over the next 10 years.

“This is a key step in the continued acceleration of our international development strategy,” says Wendy’s/Arby’s Group president and CEO Roland Smith. “Russia is a dynamic market which offers significant long-term expansion potential. We are very pleased to partner with WRG—their extensive knowledge of the Russian foodservice market will allow us to bring our premium hamburgers and roast beef sandwiches to consumers across the country.”

Led by WRG chairman and CEO Alexander Kovaler, a highly capable senior leadership team has been assembled to oversee development efforts. “We are delighted to be associated with two high-quality, international brands with an outstanding array of signature menu items that will help differentiate our business from other restaurant chains in Russia,” Kovaler says.

Headquartered in Moscow, WRG is affiliated with Food Service Capital, which operates 28 restaurants, including Goodman Steak Houses, in Moscow, Novosibirsk, Kiev, and London.

“We are excited about a new level of development for our company,” says Mikhail Zelman, CEO of Food Service Capital. “We recently signed a food supply agreement with Russian Railways, which will provide us with exciting opportunities to leverage our new relationship with Wendy’s/Arby’s International.”

Kovaler’s background includes executive leadership positions in Russia with AT&T, RC Cola International, and Gallery Media, an outdoor media company. While at RC Cola, he played a key role in establishing a major presence for the brand in Russia and opened up facilities throughout Eastern Europe and Central Asia.