Introduction to Sociology – SOC 101
Professor Allan Mooney
January 11, 2010
A company that finds major success in one country won’t necessarily catch on in another. There are a number of fast-food chains that succeeded in America, but have failed globally. One example is the widely popular Wendy’s. Wendy’s is the third largest burger chains in the U.S. However, according to the article Wendy’s to Exit Japan, Wendy’s has recently declared that they “will not renew its agreement with its Japanese franchisee, Zensho Co Ltd, after both of them failed to reach an amicable solution on the development of Wendy’s brand in Japan.” This will result in the closure of 71 outlets located in and around Tokyo, Japan.
Despite being one of the leading quick-service restaurant companies in America, Wendy’s has struggled to understand and expand internationally. It seems that they were being consistently beaten by the business that McDonald’s generates. Japan is McDonald’s largest market outside of the United States. It has nearly 4,000 restaurants there. The closure of Wendy’s marks the end of a 29-year presence in Japan, and is clearly a testament to the different tastes of the Eastern and Western countries.
In October, Wendy’s attempted one final marketing strategy when they launched a $75 million campaign titled, “When It’s Real.” However, the campaign failed to boost sales and actually declined 4%. That appeared to be the last straw for the franchise.
It’s difficult to succeed in the restaurant industry during a recession. People are more careful with their money so they tend to eat more at home. However, fast-food chains continue to thrive during these tough economic times because of their affordability. I do feel that what happened to Wendy’s could have been prevented. After all, McDonald’s is still succeeding in Japan, so why couldn’t Wendy’s. It’s important to remain...