The 30 Austin-area Wendy’s fast-food restaurants have changed hands for the second time in less than two years.
Wendy’s Co. said Friday that it sold the 30 restaurants to a relatively new franchisee, Haza Foods. The sale price wasn’t disclosed. Haza Foods already operates 31 Wendy’s restaurants in the Houston area and three in the Waco-Temple area.
Wendy’s Co. sold the restaurants to a relatively new franchisee, Haza Foods, which operates 31 Wendy’s restaurants in the Houston area and three in the Waco-Temple area.
Haza Foods, also an operator of convenience stores and a wholesale distributor of fuel, bought the Houston restaurants in early 2013 from Emerald Foods, according to RestaurantNews.com. That deal marked Haza’s first franchise arrangement with Wendy’s.
The sale of the Austin restaurants is part of a major Wendy’s initiative. In July, Dublin, Ohio-based Wendy’s announced it was selling 425 company-owned restaurants in 13 U.S. markets in an effort to boost its profit margins and “geographically concentrate” its restaurant ownership.
In June 2012, Wendy’s bought the 30 restaurants in the Austin area from franchisees David and Jason Near. The purchase price: $19.8 million.
At the time, a Wendy’s spokesman told Columbus Business First in Ohio: “We intend … to operate the Austin market as a company market. Austin is a strong market for Wendy’s, and this gives us an opportunity to test new products and other major initiatives.”
The Near brothers had been longtime Wendy’s franchisees. They are the sons of former Wendy’s Chairman and CEO Jim Near, who died in 1996. David Near was Wendy’s chief operations officer from 2006 to 2008.
David and Jason Near began operating franchised Wendy’s restaurants in the Austin area in 1995. In 2006, it was reported that the brothers’ local restaurants (29 at the time) rang up about $42 million in annual sales, with the average location generating $1.5 million.
“I am a third-generation restaurateur and have been around the Wendy’s business all of my life,” David Near said in a 2006 news release. “I’ve been successful growing my Wendy’s business as a franchisee with a relentless focus on quality, service, cleanliness and, above all, people.”