MEIJER GAS STATIONS TO CO-BRAND WITH FAST-FOOD CHAIN

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- Plans are underway here for a 7,000-square-foot co-branded center that will combine a Meijer gas station and convenience store with a full-service Wendy's franchise.An agreement has been finalized between Meijer and Meritage Hospitality Group, both based here, to construct a shared site with Meijer occupying 3,600 square feet and Meritage's Wendy's unit filling the remainder.Meijer

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- Plans are underway here for a 7,000-square-foot co-branded center that will combine a Meijer gas station and convenience store with a full-service Wendy's franchise.

An agreement has been finalized between Meijer and Meritage Hospitality Group, both based here, to construct a shared site with Meijer occupying 3,600 square feet and Meritage's Wendy's unit filling the remainder.

Meijer -- operators of 112 supercenters and close to 100 gas-station/c-store locations throughout Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Kentucky -- wanted to expand into the peripheral food-service arena and also increase the size of their typical 1,500-square-foot c-store layout, said a source familiar with the arrangement.

According to Robert Schermer, president of Meritage, a 27-unit Wendy's franchisee, Meijer investigated many food-service options when planning their new site.

Schermer said the plan is to construct several prototype locations in different areas, so the companies may study and fine tune the arrangement.

The 3,400-square-foot Wendy's unit will seat 90 patrons and feature a double drive-through. Entrances will be located in the center of both venues, with an additional entrance on the side of Wendy's, which Schermer said is standard policy for them. The companies will share land and operational expenses.

Construction on the Grand Rapids site is scheduled to begin on July 1, with a tentative opening date of November 15.