World’s Largest Wendy’s Opens in Tbilisi

Wissol Group has opened the largest Wendy’s restaurant in the world…in Tbilisi. The three-floor restaurant located at 26th May square covers 1,450 sq. meters and has a hosting capacity of 450 guests.

The restaurant was deliberately opened on November 15th, the date when, 46 years ago, American businessman and philanthropist Dave Thomas opened the first Wendy’s in Columbus, Ohio, US.

The opening ceremony was attended by Todd Penegor, the company’s Executive Vice-President and Chief Financial Officer, the company’s Chief Development Officer, newly appointed US Ambassador to Georgia, Ian C. Kelly, local government and business representatives among them the Mayor of Tbilisi David Narmania, and many other public figures.

Soso Pkhakadze, the President of Wissol Group thanked their partners, and attributed the huge success of Wendy’s in Georgia to the love of their faithful customers.

Georgia Today exclusively interviewed Wendy’s Executive Vice-President, Todd Penegor.

Mr. Todd, Wendy’s has opened the largest restaurant in the world in Tbilisi. Why did you choose Georgia?

Yes, it is genuinely the largest in the world. And it is because of the support of Wissol Group who partnered with us to make sure that we were comfortable with the idea of building the largest Wendy’s restaurant. They felt that if they could make a statement here they would make a statement for the company around the globe and clearly what you see here today is the result of that statement. With the opening of the new restaurant, we’re trying to create a truly unforgettable experience: to make sure that when you come here, you engage with the people, enoy fabulous tasting food, and experience nice facilities. The new restaurant is unique; we have Dunkin Donuts downstairs and a Frosty’s Corner, a fabulous café on the second floor and if you want to have a fun you have a brilliant space on the third floor with all the necessary equipment and also a space for kids. As for the new workforce, in this restaurant alone we have employed 50 folks, running three different shifts. In one particular shift they allow 16-18 people. I tell you one thing: they [Wissol and Wendy’s Georgia] are very, very good to their people. We recognized them earlier this year with a Jim Near Award which is Wendy’s special award that goes to the organization most focused on their people and giving back to the customers.

What about Wendy’s sense of social responsibility?

One of our core values is giving something back. That really goes to the history of our founder David Thomas. In the US and Canada we have the David Thomas Foundation of Adoption and we spend a lot of time raising money in our restaurants to help the most unadoptable kids to be adopted. I am sure we will do the same here and we are so proud to be in Georgia. The Government is spending a lot to encourage job creation and encourage Western brands to enter the country. And boosting the Georgian economic climate means creating more jobs and it’s a pleasure for us to be a part of this.

At the opening of Wendy’s, US ambassador to Georgia Ian C. Kelly once again expressed the US support for Georgia in terms of politics and business. “Our main priority here in Georgia is to help the country integrate into Europe and the North Atlantic community, and a big part of this is about growing business and the trade relationship between these two countries. The Wendy’s event is just one example of the fantastic partnership between the US and Georgia,” Ambassador Kelly said.

Meri Taliashvili

16 November 2015 19:58
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