The UK’s first hamburger restaurant chain is in the early stages of an expansion plan aimed at rebuilding its high street presence.
Wimpy, which was originally bought to the UK in 1956, once had more than 100 sites across the country but was ultimately forced to close a substantial percentage of its restaurants due to competition from McDonald’s and Burger King.
Following a stream of reports about a fast-paced, wide-spread site roll-out, Wimpy UK’s general manager, Chris Woolfenden, told FEJ it was “still early days” but that a comprehensive refurbishment strategy was planned.
He said: “It takes time to identify the right locations with the right franchise partners who will enable us to build on the continued success of the Wimpy name. We see this investment and refurbishment programme as a marathon, not a sprint. We aren’t looking to achieve overnight success, instead we’re taking a steady and thoughtful approach which befits such a much-loved heritage brand.”
While the company is working to identify potential new sites it is also updating and renovating much of its existing portfolio to achieve its long-term ambition of expanding the Wimpy empire and its customer base.
“Wimpy offers a different experience to other fast food outlets, what we do has always worked well for us and we will continue with that tradition.
“Most of today’s fast food outlets focus on the ‘grab and go’ culture, but when you go in to a Wimpy you sit down at your own table, you’re given a menu and are served by a waiter or waitress. Everything is cooked to order and we see ourselves as an oasis of calm, with good service and great taste – that’s our USP and that’s why we believe more people will still want to come back to a Wimpy.”
Mr Woolfenden said that further details of the chain’s plans will be shared next year, with the company looking to increase its customer base by attracting them to its ‘”smart new-look” restaurants.