Selected for passionate, unwavering support of those in need, the CEO of Wen JAI Restaurant Group is a multi-unit operator with Wendy’s. With a long history of supporting charitable causes (see below), Mercado says he is on a mission to help and support the less fortunate—“especially kids, who are the most defenseless, sometimes dealt difficult cards, and remain our future. It is amazing to be able to help change their lives.”
Multi-Unit Franchisee magazine is once again proud to honor excellence in franchising with its annual MVP (Most Valuable Performer) Awards. The winners were celebrated on stage at this year’s Multi-Unit Franchising Conference in Las Vegas.
Jhonny’s leadership has helped drive a tremendous amount of support for the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, and allowed him to join the board to help oversee upcoming programs. Since 2018, his Wendy’s restaurants have donated over $1.5 Million to this organization!! WOW, that is truly amazing and many children all over the United States have been impacted by everyone’s great efforts. Already, in 2022 we are at the $100,000 mark and looking to set records for the DTFA!
Congratulations to Jhonny Mercado on the opening of their new restaurant in La Chorrera, Panama on December 12, 2021. Located just 20 minutes outside of Panama City, this restaurant includes a creative tunnel-type entrance to the drive-thru which contributed to opening sales reported equaling 786 transactions in on day which were well above expectations.
Wen JAI secured $84 million in new loan commitments to fund the acquisition of 71 Wendy’s in TX, TN, NM, and SC, provide funds for future development, remodels and working capital. Wen JAI is owned by Jhonny Mercado. Fifth Third Bank led the funding, which included participant banks City National Bank, TD Bank and Amerant Bank. The new loan commitments included a $66 million senior secured business term loan, a $15 million development line of credit and a $3 million revolving line of credit.
JAE Restaurant Group (“JAE”), a Boca Raton, FL based Wendy’s franchisee, has obtained a $115,500,000 senior secured term loan, development line of credit, and revolving line of credit to refinance its existing debt, finance a 44 store acquisition, fund major upgrades and remodels, and provide capital for development of new restaurants.
The Wendy's Company has announced the completion of its System Optimization initiative, launched in July 2013, with the sale of 104 restaurants in four U.S. markets — Phoenix, Los Angeles/Palm Springs, Hawaii and Albuquerque. According to a news release, Wendy's has sold 418 company-operated restaurants concentrated in 13 U.S. markets, primarily in the West, as part of this initiative. The company has received total proceeds of approximately $235 million, including $138 million in 2013.
J.A. International Investments now owns a total of 62 Wendy’s restaurants. The company’s principles are Venezuela natives Andres Garcia and Jhonny Mercado, who immigrated to South Florida over the last eight years. The Business Journal profiled them and several other franchise owners in a recent in-depth story.
This latest acquisition represents the next step in the continued expansion of J.A. International Investments, which has grown from two restaurants only five years ago to 67 today, with more growth already in the pipeline,” Rosetto said. “With every store creating between 25 and 40 new jobs, J.A. International Investments is driving economic growth and proving the value of small businesses when it comes to job creation in the United States.
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