You may have heard that the American fast food chain, Wendy’s, will be closing all 71 of its Japanese outlets on Jan. 1. Zensho, the local company that runs Wendy’s Japan, announced at the beginning of the month that it would not renew its contract with Wendy’s, which runs out Dec. 31. According to J-Cast News, McDonald’s is just too strong in the hamburger biz and Zensho has other chains that it wants to concentrate more resources on, like the gyudon (beef bowl) restaurant Sukiya, udon (noodles) restaurant Nakau, Cocos Japan, and the family restaurant Sunday Sun.
As often happens in situations like this, Wendy’s is suddenly the most popular fast-food chain in the country. Since the announcement was made, all the outlets have reported lines forming even before they open, and then after they open selling out a full day’s worth of their hamburger products by the early afternoon. The Wendy’s at Shin Yurigaoka in Kawasaki told J-Cast that usually by the time dinner rolls around all they have left is chicken sandwiches and fish sandwiches, but other outlets don’t even have those left. After the standard Wendy’s burger, the most popular item is Wendy’s chili, something you can’t get at McD’s. There’s been hundreds of Twitter posts a day from Wendy’s fans reporting on what’s available and what isn’t. “I went to mourn, but everything is sold out except drinks!!!” one micro-blogger reported.