Wendy's plans hundreds of new kitchens to deal with online order demand

Fast-food company Wendy's plans to open several hundred new kitchens in multiple countries that will only accept online orders. The move comes amid a big change in how consumers get take-out food, a shift that sped up quickly under the pandemic. Unlike existing Wendy's stores, you'll need to use on-demand food apps to get orders from these new locations.

On-demand food delivery used to be a rare convenience available only from pizza shops and, in the case of very large cities, local mom-and-pop stores. The digital age has changed that, ushering in apps like DoorDash and Uber Eats that anyone can use to order a meal from a restaurant and have it delivered to their home.

With the rise of these on-demand food delivery services came 'ghost kitchens,' a type of restaurant that isn't open to the public. Rather, consumers who live near one of these kitchens can place an order online, which is then prepared on-site and delivered to the customer. Wendy's is the latest company to get on board with this change in the food industry.

According to the Associated Press, Wendy's will open 700 of these kitchens over the next few years in the US, UK, and Canada. The delivery-only kitchens will focus more heavily on big cities where drive-thru stores are typically found in lower numbers.

The first 50 of these new delivery-only stores will be opened in 2021 and they'll leverage existing on-demand food delivery platforms like DoorDash and Uber Eats to serve customers. Wendy's isn't the first fast-food company to embrace the digital world — many like Taco Bell have launched mobile and web apps for placing orders online before arriving at the restaurant.