Denny’s franchisee grows to 127 units through 94-store purchase

WKS now operates 287 restaurants in total and ranks as Denny’s largest licensee.
Photograph: Shutterstock

Six-concept franchisee WKS Restaurant Group has boosted its Denny’s holdings to 127 locations through the purchase of 94 units from fellow franchisee QK Holdings.

The price and other terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The acquisition makes WKS the largest franchisee within Denny’s, a title formerly held by QK. 

In total, WKS now operates 287 restaurants under the flags of Wendy’s, Blaze Pizza, El Pollo Loco, Corner Bakery and Krispy Kreme Doughnuts as well as Denny’s. Owned by the Spongberg family, the company now has restaurants in 16 states and employs 10,000 people. It began in 1987 as a single El Pollo Loco outlet, with a staff of 25.

In addition to QK’s restaurants, the deal includes two support centers the seller ran in Arizona for its Denny’s business. WKS said in announcing the transaction that all 4,500 employees who worked in or for QK’s Denny’s operation will be retained.  

“We are excited to welcome our friends from QK into the WKS family,” WKS founder and CEO Roland Spongberg said in a statement. “Denny’s is an iconic brand with a great heritage, and we are looking forward to building upon QK’s success.”

QK was founded in 1990 by Robbie Qualls and Doug Koch, who had started within Denny’s as service assistants.  

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