In May 1993 Henry McGovern and Don Kendall jr move to Poland with the idea to be a part of the history being made in CEE from the collapse of the USSR. On July 2nd they win the auction to buy Rynek 48 in Wroclaw, thus begins the company and the first WJM story. With the idea to rent the ground floor to a restaurant they approach PepsiCo who says “no” but offer the franchise for Pizza Hut. Donald Kendall sr offers to be a partner, an opportunity not to be missed so our entry into the restaurant business begins. The company - American Retail Systems (ARS) is formed with four partners (Donald M. Kendall, Donald M. Kendall jr., Christian R. Eisenbeiss and Henry J. McGovern). The development of Pizza Hut and the reconstruction of Rynek 48 offers so many
challenges that our WJM belief is born!
WJM is proven and seeps deep into our culture when Rynek Pizza Hut does open on time on Nov. 9, 1993. A huge success in Wroclaw leads to ARS obtaining the rights for Szczecin as well and the 2nd restaurant opens there in May 1994.
We learn a hard lesson from the failure of our second business, Xerox Business Centers.
PepsiCo decides Poland is a strategic market in the world and begins rapid development of KFC & Pizza Hut.