Crews are busy working on the parking lot, landscaping, and electrical work at the 12th location of franchisee Mike Iezzi. (Photo by Neil Gordon)
Starting as early as next month, fast food giants and next-door neighbors McDonald’s and Wendy’s will compete for both burger sales and employees in front of the West Town Shopping Center on Washington Road in Martinez.
Franchise owner Mike Iezzi will soon open a 12th location on a 1.7-acre lot – the site of the former Auto Gallery- near the busy Davis Road intersection. “We’re hoping to open around June 15,” says Iezzi. “Of course, there’s no guarantee” it will open that soon. While the McDonald’s next door has advertised starting pay of $10 an hour, full-time employees at the new Wendy’s store will earn $11 an hour. Like many fast-food restaurant owners, he says finding employees is “more challenging than it’s been in quite some time.” Iezzi believes the situation will improve once the government stops providing stimulus checks and extended unemployment benefits. He says he already has some employees training to work at the new store.
Until just a few years ago, another Wendy’s location sat next to the former Taco Bell near the intersection of Bobby Jones Expressway and Washington Road. Iezzi says a traffic problem made getting in and out of the parking lot too difficult for many customers. Brakes 4 Less currently occupies that space.