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How the Wendy's Baconator will help unlock $1 billion in new sales

Brian Sozzi

The always popular Wendy’s Baconator will surely do its part to help the mostly U.S.-based fast-food chain finally plant a larger flag overseas.

Wendy’s (WEN) CEO Todd Penegor tells Yahoo Finance that with the U.S. business back on track, he is setting his sights on a more aggressive international restaurant rollout. The company plans to debut in the U.K. within the next 12-18 months, followed by 20 or so company-operated restaurants in the country quickly thereafter.

From there, Penegor intends to build out the European market before first considering a foray into China — which he says is a “little further out.” Penegor thinks Wendy’s could reach $2 billion in sales and 1,500 restaurants overseas by 2024, up from $1 billion in sales and 900 or so restaurants currently.

Wendys gave fans the ultimate fresh beef and bacon experience at Chicagos Daley Plaza Farmers Market with a 15-foot-tall Baconator dome September 1, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jeff Schear/Getty Images for Wendy's)

Wendy’s primary international markets today include Japan, Canada and Mexico.

“The brand can travel. It has a lot of brand equity across all of Europe. There are a lot of social followers across all of Europe on Twitter. We are already looking to partner with some big partners to help bring the brand to life beyond the U.K. into Europe,” Penegor tells Yahoo Finance.

Indeed, Wendy’s will face some formidable competition in the U.K. from McDonald’s, Domino’s Pizza and KFC. The same competition also awaits Wendy’s in Europe and of course, China.

But as long as the Baconator is on the menu, Wendy’s succeeding internationally must not be ruled out.

Brian Sozzi is an editor-at-large and co-anchor of The First Trade at Yahoo Finance. Follow him on Twitter @BrianSozzi

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