Kusto Group Brings Wendy’s American Fast-Food Restaurant to Central Asia
Upon opening two new Wendy’s restaurant locations in Uzbekistan, Chairman of Kusto Group, YerkinTatishev, says there are plans to expand the famous American fast-food franchise across Central Asia.
Chairman of Kusto Group, YerkinTatishev (second from the left), at the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the grand opening of the first Wendy’s restaurant in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. (Source: YerkinTatishev Blog)
Kusto Group has helped to bring Wendy’s, the world-famous American fast-food brand, to Central Asia. In a joint project with the Wissol Group and a local partner, the company has opened two new branches of the burger restaurant in Tashkent, the urban hub and capital city of Uzbekistan. There are plans to expand the franchise to include multiple Wendy’s restaurant locations across the country and region.
Wendy’s Franchise Will Use Local Suppliers
A grand opening event was held on June 18, 2019, where Kusto Group chairman, YerkinTatishev, participated in a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the first Wendy’s location. There has been growing excitement among locals now that both locations are officially open and serving customers. The new Wendy’s locations can be found in the Compass Mall and Samarqand Darvoza shopping center.
Wendy’s is well-known for its trademark square burgers and Frosty frozen ice cream desserts. The founder of Wendy’s, Dave Thomas, was famous for his efforts to provide customers with the highest quality meal without cutting any corners – an inspiration for his restaurant’s unique burgers.The company itself recently celebrated its fiftieth anniversary.
The two Tashkent locations are to be the first of 20 restaurants slated to be opened in Uzbekistan over the next 10 years. Kusto Group has similar expansion plans for the restaurant in Kazakhstan, where the first Wendy’s franchise is set to open before the end of the year.
According to Tatishev, the organization identified a demand for what they called a ‘recognized and respected American brand serving quality food’. But what made Tatishev and Kusto Group gravitate towards Wendy’s has to do with the brand’s efforts to source local produce and ingredients. Much of the diverse, multi-sector conglomerate’s businesses have focused on delivering high-quality products and serving local communities first and foremost.
While many other Western fast-food franchises rely heavily on imported produce and products, Wendy’s restaurants source 60% of their ingredients from local suppliers. Making this venture not just a new dining experience for consumers, but a new sales opportunity for local farmers and producers across Central Asia. Kusto hopes that as this relationship between the restaurant franchise and local suppliers continues to grow and strengthen, the restaurants will buy even more local produce.
Kusto Group’s Efforts to Build a Modern Agribusiness
Kusto Group’s partnership to bring Wendy’s restaurants to Central Asia compliments its agri-business operations which currently operate across Kazakhstan and Ukraine. The company’s KazBeef operations have introduced new innovative techniques by partnering with global partners who are leaders in their field to produce high-quality beef for the local market.Wendy’s prides itself on using ‘fresh never frozen’ meat to provide customers with a superior final product.
In Ukraine, KustoAgro has invested in modern farming machinery and established a large land bank to increase yields and establish sustainable practices. The company has experienced rapid growth in the competitive agricultural market since its founding in 2011. Kusto’s investment in building a Wendy’s franchise in the region demonstrates its field to shelf, holistic approach to agricultural products and practices.
Kusto Group’s partner in the venture, Wissol Group, is one of the largest business conglomerates in the country of Georgia where it operates the largest chain of petroleum stations, Dunkin Donuts franchises, a grocery store chain and several successful Wendy’s restaurants.
Wendy’s and Kusto Group: Supporting the Local Community
YerkinTatishev, a passionate supporter of education and philanthropist who believes in investing in people through providing unique opportunities, proudly announced that the two new restaurants have created more than 50 well-paying jobs to the community. “These jobs at a respected brand will give young people at the beginning of their career the chance to gain invaluable experience and learn from high-quality managers,” he added.
By partnering with the best local suppliers, the company aspires to serve fresh delicious food while supporting local communities, an idea that echoes the values that guide Kusto Group.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, Rajiv Sabharwal, Vice President of APEMEA and Wendy’s International Managing Director said,
“This is a wonderful year for Wendy’s, as we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the brand and are expanding our presence in Uzbekistan. We are honored to expand Wendy’s with strong, capable partners who share our passion for quality and customer service. We look forward to sharing Wendy’s experience with Uzbek consumers who are looking for and appreciate genuine, quality food.”
Wendy’s Hopes to Achieve Lasting Success in Central Asia
Wendy’s was originally founded in 1969 in Columbus, Ohio. The fast-food chain has grown to include 6.7 thousand franchise restaurants worldwide. Originally started as a family business, the company strives to remain true to its roots through its support of its employees and giving back to the communities it operates in.
In its pledge to serve up better food, Wendy’s has committed to eliminate or reduce antibiotic use in its chicken, beef and pork production, conduct third-party human rights reviews of suppliers, source cage-free eggs and reduce its energy consumption, among other initiatives.
Kusto Group is confident that Wendy’s restaurants’ concentration on using localized supply chains will create long-term success for the franchise in Central Asia.