Is there a Wendy’s in the UK?

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Hello, hamburger loving friends! If you’ve come to this site wondering, “Is there a Wendy’s in the UK?” or maybe even, “Is there a Wendy’s in London?” then I have just the article you’re searching for.

Hey, sidenote! If you’re traveling to the UK, whether for a short period of time or as an expat, why don’t you join my Facebook group where you can ask questions, get advice or just look at pretty pictures of this part of the world! Just click here to request to join and I’ll add you!

Well, first I have some products I think you could definitely use like a cheeseburger pillow and hamburger slippers, because, duh, priorities.


Or, if you want to surprise someone with a Wendy’s Gift Card – or, heck, treat yourself(!!) – click here.

But after that, I want you to know that I know that Wendy’s is the epitome of what it means to be an American.

When you see that red headed girl on top of that sign and the smell of fries and milkshakes starts wafting through the air, you know that you’re home.  So…

“Is there a Wendy’s in the UK?”

Sadly, the answer is – no, but there might be hope!


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I’m going to give you the full rundown of Wendy’s in the UK and why I have hope that we might see some soon, but before I do, check out these other posts all about visiting and living in the UK.

Firstly, you need the best book on England ever written – the book is called “Watching the English” and you should click here and check it out.

It takes everything you think you know about the UK and either explains it or shows you what you’re really getting yourself into (major small talk and frequent tea breaks, woo!)

Right, so, if you’re hoping to dip your fries into a Frosty and enjoy that classic square hamburger, you’re out of luck in London, England, or anywhere in the UK right now.


That being said, Wendy’s has a unique history in the UK.

If you go back to 2000, Wendy’s in London was a real possibility as the company looked to purchase properties and open franchises in England’s capital city.

But high property costs made Wendy’s pull completely out of the UK, and in its place, McDonald’s and other companies took its place on the high streets.

You might also enjoy  Is there an Outback Steakhouse in England or the UK?

Wendy’s then went quiet on its plans to expand into the UK for almost 20 years.

Recessions hit the worldwide economy, the British public didn’t seem particularly interested in additional fast food hamburger restaurants, and it seemed like there was no hope for American expats craving the deliciousness that is a square hamburger patty.

This all changed, however, in July 0f 2017, when Wendy’s hosted a one-day pop-up event in London.

There was a limited menu of hamburgers, fries, and milkshakes, and the pop-up was only open for about 4 hours, but it was enough to make local business owners and London residents feel that maybe, someday, there might be a chance that Wendy’s in the UK wouldn’t be a question, but a fact.

It makes sense, really, as hamburger fast food places have started to become more popular in the UK, including American franchises like Five Guys.

The lines out the door at Five Guys in London when it first opened were insane, and it still draws plenty of crowds, from Americans overseas to Brits who have gotten a taste for it.

There haven’t been anymore signs of Wendy’s in the UK since then, but keep an eye out as there’s no telling when this fast food giant will make a reappearance.

I know we all love Wendy’s, and fast food in general, but for another take on eating fast food, I suggest watching Super Size Me. It’s a great look in to what can happen to your body if you have just one too many fast food meals!

Or if you are looking for a fast-food inspired gift for the young ones (or young-at-hearts!) in your family, check out this awesome wooden fast food set!


Now, if you do find yourself in London or the UK, you’re going to want to read up on some of the other franchises and companies that you may or may not find here.

You need to be prepared, after all, and there’s no sadness like realizing you’ve flown 4,000 miles to a severe lack of Outback Steakhouse bread, am I right?

So to help you make your way around and know what to expect, here’s a list of the essentials.

Fast Food

The UK has…

Burger King
Pizza Hut

The UK doesn’t have…

Chick-Fil-A (if you like Chick-Fil-A, you should really check out this book about the building of the company)
White Castle

Sit-down restaurants

The UK has…

TGI Friday’s (if you’re a fan of TGI’s, check out this cookbook to make your own at home)

The UK doesn’t have…

Tijuana Flats
Outback Steakhouse (if you love Outback like I do, grab you and your friends a gift card for a great excuse to have a great evening!)

You might also enjoy  Is there an Olive Garden in the UK or London?

Big Stores

The UK has…

Costco, though people say it isn’t as good of a value and not quite the same
Walmart-owned ASDA, which isn’t exactly the same as a Walmart but pretty close

The UK doesn’t have…

Macy’s (FYI, you should check out this book on the history of Macy’s – it’s a great read, with lots of photographs and illustrations to boot)
Nordstrom (grab yourself a Nordstrom Gift Card here for a great last-minute Christmas or Birthday present!)

The grocery store names are also different, with no overlap between the US and the UK.

You won’t find Publix (for Floridians), Giant (for you mid-Atlanticers!), Kroger (looking at you, southern states!) or any other popular grocery store in your area.


You also won’t find Walgreens or CVS, but instead a different brand name for drugstores including Superdrug and Boots.

And when you need a store with lots of “stuff,” you can go to “Argos,” where you essentially order things from a catalog and then they are brought to you.

Feel free to get in touch with me at if you’re wondering about the differences between the UK and US store offerings, and have a lovely time in jolly old England!


Coming to London Soon?

Hey! Since you’re here I’m assuming you’re intent on visiting this amazing city soon! Getting the lowdown on the hottest spots in town can be time consuming so I took the liberty of picking out some great ones below. Hope you enjoy!

Open Top Bus London Tour: Double Decker buses are not only a way of transportation in London, but a definitive pastime of the city dwellers. This tour lets you see London by night and experience a true right of passage that every Londoner must complete. A two for one YAY! 

Kew Gardens: If you want to explore some of the calmer areas of the city, I highly recommend exploring the botanicals at Kew Gardens. London’s largest World Heritage site boasts acres of gardens in a royal glass palace because, yes, everything here gets the royal treatment. 

Afternoon Tea Cruise on River Thames: Oh so you’ve come to London looking for tea? Lucky for you theres literally MILLIONS of options to choose from… it can actually get overwhelming. So I made it easy for you and found one of the best teas in town, complete with the best setting as well!

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11 months ago

I stumbled upon a Wendy’s once in London. It might have been 99 or 00. It had a basement dining area. My buddy dropped his frosty on the way downstairs. He was devastated.


11 months ago

That would be the one at Picadilly Circus, that is now a McDonalds

Paul Rayner

11 months ago

Your list of American fast food in the UK left out Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC). As Harland Sanders invented the chicken pressure fryer which is used in nearly all chicken shacks in the world, not just KFC, I think his company deserves a mention. Much more deserving of a place than McDonald’s who simply stole an idea from White Castle and added thick milkshakes to the menu, and McD is on your list.


2 weeks ago

Hi Paul,

Thanks for the thoughts – I will add KFC to the list!


11 months ago

I randomly found out that Boots is actually owned by Walgreens! I feel like Boots is a little more expensive but it can be super similar.


2 weeks ago

Hi Val,

That’s really interesting! I did not know that. Thanks for the information!


11 months ago

I really miss Wendy’s, the food was far superior to any of its peers. I didn’t live in London at the time, but used to call in there when I was passing through.
Aside from the branches they had in central London in Oxford Street, and Piccadilly Circus (probably why they balked at the rent back then being two of the most expensive areas), they had some odd locations. One was near where my grandmother lived in Belfast, situated in a quiet street.
We visited there a few times when I took the family to Orlando. Still as good as I remember it.
Hopefully, like the author suggests, they will give the UK another go.

Ed nay

10 months ago

There was a Wendy’s restaurant inside heathrow airports terminal 3 arrivals for years up until around 2002.


2 weeks ago

Thanks, Ed. I wonder if they will ever make a return…


10 months ago

There used to be a Wendy’s in Uxbridge, used to go there occasionally back in ’97.


6 months ago

I worked for them as a manager around 87-88, they were by far the best burgers, freshly cooked and with Jackets that can make your mouth water , sadly they expanded too fast, I remembered opening Southampton, Bracknell and Slough, they simply picked locations out of desperation rather than what the town needed and these branches drained the profits faster than a sieve, and few years later they start to shut, lack of traffics plus high rent and rate, the Americans who came to manage the UK operation are some of the nicest people, I got to spent a lot of time with them at the HQ at Cambridge Circus as the restaurant is below (Now Shake Shake).
Whenever I travel to the US, I always make it my number one stop, closely follow by Popeyes.
Oh boy, I do miss them !!!


5 months ago

Wow Mel! What a cool story – Wendy’s are the best!

Steve Anderson

5 months ago

There were a scattering of Wendy’s outlets in England in the mid 90’s. I used to go to the one near Leicester city attached to the local Cinema/Odeon park. As an expat Canadian I was excited to stumble upon this outlet. I even turned my English nephews/nieces on to Wendy’s. Alas, the chain never marketed/advertised itself and Brits simply didn’t know what Wendy’s was and how good it was. There was also one near Piccadilly in London. By the end of the 90’s they’d all disappeared. How utterly sad! They’re far better than MCDonalds of Burger King!!

Dave Phillips

2 months ago

Can’t remember the exact year, but it would have been about ’82. There was one in Lewisham (South East London). Myself and my friends used to eat there all the time.

Nothing like it before, nothing like it since. The best by far – all cooked fresh, rather than steam heating pre-cooked burgers.

Would love them back.


2 weeks ago

Thanks, Dave.

My husband prefers Wendy’s over other fast food burger places. I am not sure on McDonald’s and Burger King’s cooking approaches, but he insists Wendy’s tastes better. Maybe that is why!


2 weeks ago

Hi Steve,

This is interesting, but also sad to know! As an American, I would love to see Wendy’s in the UK just to give me a little injection of back home!


2 months ago

Thank God, no Wendy’s in the UK.


2 weeks ago

I have just done a Market Research survey that implies Wendy’s may be considering the UK. The survey had mocked prices in pounds.


2 weeks ago

Hi Alan,

Thanks for the information! This is interesting. Maybe they will make a comeback here. I certainly hope so!


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