Wendy’s Decides It’s Time to Get Out of Russia

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Customers enter a Wendy's fast food restaurant in Moscow, Russia, on Friday, April 5, 2013. McDonald's, which virtually created the market for burgers and fries in the country and convinced Russians it's OK to eat with their hands, must fend off a growing challenge from rivals Burger King Worldwide Inc., Subway Restaurants, Yum! Brands Inc. and Wendy's Co.
Cold War season for Frosties. Photo: Andrey Rudakov/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Wendy's announced yesterday it will close the handful of locations it currently operates in Russia, less than a week after a watchdog group essentially declared war on McDonald's burgers and Filets-O-Fish and called for the fast-food company to shut down. Four Wendy's have already closed, and the remainder will follow in a matter of weeks. The company cites problems with its Russian franchisee Wenrus, which "has not expressed interest in growing Wendy's business in Russia, nor have they shown the resources to successfully operate the existing restaurants on a long-term basis," according to a spokesperson who adds that the decision "had nothing to do with politics." Wendy's came to Russia in 2010 with big plans to establish 180 locations; it ultimately opened eight. [Bloomberg, Related]