It’s been more than a year since the fast food chain, Wendy’s, began advertising jobs for a new Mitchell location, but no signs of construction have appeared since, shrouding the arrival in mystery.
According to a Wendy’s customer care advocate, who spoke to The Daily Republic on Thursday, the plan to open Mitchell’s first Wendy’s location is still on. However, no timeline was provided for when the popular fast food restaurant plans to open at the 1101 E. Spruce St. location inside of Mitchell’s Walmart. As of Thursday, there were four positions listed on indeed.com, which have been posted for a month.
Since job postings for the planned Wendy’s location in Mitchell first surfaced on indeed.com just over a year ago, the company hasn’t submitted any formal building plans to the city of Mitchell, according to City Planner Neil Putnam. However, Putnam said the fast food restaurant provided a rough footprint of the building layout roughly a year ago.
“It’s been many months since I’ve heard from them, and I have heard nothing as of recently,” Putnam said. “I’ve only seen a footprint of the building layout, and we get those from time to time to see if the building layout would fit and work for the area they are looking at.”
The initial footprint that Putnam reviewed was for a different location than the 1101 E. Spruce St. Walmart. Putnam said the original footprint of the restaurant was planned to be located at the area near the intersection of Burr Street/State Highway 37 and Spruce Street in Mitchell, which would have been a separate building outside of Walmart.
For Wendy’s to arrive and open its doors to the Mitchell community, the restaurant must submit building plans, secure a building permit with the city of Mitchell, along with making sure the zoning district they are planning to operate out of fits the criteria for the food business.
While the Wendy’s location that’s included in the recent online job posts lists 1101 E. Spruce St., there appears to be no signs of interior construction that has taken place over the past year.
Currently, Walmart houses one chain restaurant inside its building, Subway, which is located on the north side of the building. It wouldn’t be the first Wendy’s location to open inside of a Walmart. Recently, the fast food chain opened up a Wendy’s inside a Walmart store located in Kissimmee, Florida, a city with a population of roughly 60,000 that sits about 20 miles south of Orlando.
As of now, there are eight Wendy's locations in South Dakota - all operated by franchisees - including stores in Aberdeen and Yankton, and three sites each in Rapid City and Sioux Falls. By its own description, Wendy's is the third-largest quick-service hamburger-focused restaurant in the world. At the end of 2018, Wendy's had 5,825 restaurants in North America. The company, founded in 1969, opened 152 new restaurants in 2018, while closing 77 generally underperforming restaurants.