- people on the move
Restaurant company plans 121 new locations
A local restaurant company has a new five-year goal.
Grand Rapids-based Meritage Hospitality Group announced this week its growth plan after discussing it at its annual shareholder meeting.
The plan is a continuation of Meritage’s previous growth trajectory of the past five years.
Meritage hopes to grow its operation to 285 restaurants, a 121-location increase from the 164 restaurants it currently operates — which includes a mix of Wendy’s restaurants and the company’s “chef-casual” restaurants, such as Twisted Rooster and Crooked Goose.
The expansion is planned through continued acquisitions of Wendy’s franchises, other acquisitions and new restaurant development.
Meritage CEO Robert Schermer told the Business Journal the new restaurants will be a mix of “Wendy’s business and new chef-inspired dining business” in new and existing markets.
Schermer said the mixture will depend on market conditions, but it will likely be 90-percent fast-food restaurants — Wendy’s — and 10-percent chef-inspired locations.
The company currently operates restaurants in Michigan, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Ohio and Virginia.
Meritage has more than 5,200 employees.
The company’s 2016 first-quarter earnings report highlighted a 16.3-percent increase in sales from the same period last year, from $46.5 million to $54.1 million.
Net income was $541,000 in the quarter, compared to $1.1 million during the same period last year.
Meritage Hospitality Group is publicly traded in the OTCQX marketplace under the symbol MHGU.