Food Service & Agriculture and Retail

Restaurant group expands Southern holdings

August 28, 2014
| By Pat Evans |
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Meritage Hospitality Group operates more than 140 restaurants in six states, including more than 130 Wendy's. Photo via

A local restaurant group has added another 20 eateries to its corporate menu.

Meritage Restaurant Group announced this morning it has acquired 20 Atlanta-based Wendy’s restaurants. The deal brings Meritage’s holdings to 141 restaurants in six states, including Grand Rapids’ Twisted Rooster and Crooked Goose and more than 100 Wendy’s restaurants. The group also has a restaurant in Port Huron called Freighters.

The Wendy’s restaurants were acquired from a franchisee and are contiguous to the company’s existing Wendy’s operations in Atlanta. The new restaurants will add an estimated $25.6 million in annual sales, according to a written statement from Meritage.

“This transaction represents a case-model opportunity of our stated strategy to enhance shareholder value through consolidation and development in the Wendy’s franchise system,” said CEO Robert E. Schermer Jr. “We intend to immediately install our web-based, back-of-house operating and accounting systems to add real-time efficiencies at the restaurant level.”

The acquisition was funded by cash on hand and an acquisition credit facility from Meritage’s primary financial partner, First Franchise Capital Corp.

Meritage plans to temporarily close the 20 restaurant locations for two days of equipment replacement and system upgrades while transitioning to the Meritage operating protocol.

This is the 12th Wendy’s franchise system the company has acquired.

The company’s 141 restaurants are located in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and Michigan, and employ approximately 4,000 people.

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