Wendy's sells 24 Seattle restaurants to franchisee

DUBLIN, Ohio (AP) - The Wendy's Co. said Monday that it sold 24 of its restaurants in Seattle to a franchisee. The fast-food chain is seeking to reduce the amount of locations it owns.

The move is part a plan, announced in July, to sell 425 of its restaurants to franchisees. It wants to complete the sales by the middle of next year. Wendy's has about 1,350 company-owned restaurants.

Fast-food companies often own a small percentage of their restaurants, which helps them keep their operating costs down and gives them a more stable stream of income from royalty fees and rent, rather than sales at restaurants.

Wendy's is selling the Seattle restaurants to Cedar Enterprises Inc., its third-largest franchisee, which already operates 170 locations. Wendy's said that as part of the deal, it will work with Cedar to redesign and update some of the restaurants to its new sleeker look.

Dublin, Ohio-based Wendy's is in the process of reinventing its business. It updated its logo late last year and recently added new products to its menu, including a bacon cheeseburger with a pretzel bun. There are about 6,500 franchise and company-operated restaurants in the U.S. and abroad.