GRAND RAPIDS — Restaurant operator Meritage Hospitality Group Inc. plans to invest $100 million to develop 40 new Wendy’s restaurants.
Under an agreement the company signed with the Wendy’s organization, Grand Rapids-based Meritage will receive “significant economic incentives,” including royalty and marketing fee relief, to open the restaurant locations by the end of 2024, according to a statement.
The incentive plan is contingent on Meritage annually updating 10 percent of its existing Wendy’s restaurants to the corporate brand standards.
Meritage (OTCQX: MHGU) plans to use cash on and credit to fund the developments.
“Restaurant development is an important part of our business model, which follows the acquisition and integration of restaurants in designated market areas,” Meritage CEO Robert Schermer, Jr. said in a statement.
Schermer noted the company was poised for a record number of restaurant build-outs in 2019 and 2020 in its 16-state footprint.
Meritage, which operates 320 restaurants, expects sales to grow 10 percent to 20 percent this year. The company generated $435.3 million in sales for 2018.