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Wisynco to test co-location model as Wendy's, Domino's expand

Published:Wednesday | March 2, 2011 | 12:00 AM
Workmen are seen here preparing a building which will house a Domino's Pizza and Wendy's hamburger store under one roof. - PHOTO by DIONNE ROSE

Wisynco is adding a new Wendy's hamburger store and Domino's Pizza outlet in Kingston, and is renovating a building at Half-Way Tree to house the two fast-food eateries.

Steve Lim, managing director of Wisynco Foods Limited, a subsidiary of Wisynco Group Limited, told Wednesday Business that the restaurants would co-locate, that is, operate under one roof, at the corner of Derrymore Road and Constant Spring Road, near the Pablo's fabric store.

The expansion will cost US$1 million (J$86m), he said.

The co-location model is a first for Wisynco. Restaurants of Jamaica came close when it developed its largest KFC restaurant on Howard Cooke Boulevard in Montego Bay, and opened a Pizza Hut nearby. But the eateries there did not share an entrance.

Lim said the 3,200 square feet of space now being retrofitted at Central Plaza should be ready for opening within the next six to eight weeks. He said the expansion of both outlets would create 30 to 35 jobs. Asked why the two franchises were being rolled into one, Lim cited the shortage of space in the heavily trafficked area.

"We want to be in the Half-Way Tree area because every fast-food branch is there," he said. "We want to be in that area ... because we want to grow both brands."

Positive spin-off

The heavy pedestrian and vehicular traffic would also create a positive spin-off since the restaurants are close to the Half-Way Tree Transportation Centre.

The food executive said the establishment of smaller restaurants meant there would be less capital expenditure, a factor which has to be taken into consideration in a contracting economy.

Both restaurants would have similar colours, but there would be distinct signage differentiating them, he said.

The expansion will grow the Wendy's franchise to four stores and Domino's to 10 outlets. Lim also disclosed that there are plans to roll out two other restaurants for each brand.

"We can't say where right now," he said when pressed on the locations.

"We are in negotiation for two spots: one in Kingston and the other out of town."

Lim said that despite a contraction in the disposable income of its customers, both brands made profits last year, attributable to a change in its business strategy whereby they introduced more value-added meals to their menus.

This is the second time in a year that the company is expanding its franchises. Last year, Wisynco Foods opened Wendy's hamburger shop and Domino's Pizza franchises at the Fairview commercial complex in Montego Bay, creating 45 jobs in the process. The stores are next door each other, but have separate entrances.

That expansion was valued at US$1.5 million (J$135 million). "We are not at the scale of Burger King or KFC, but we have to expand to grow," Lim said.

dionne.rose@gleanerjm.com