Wendy’s is a well-established chain of fast-food restaurants in the US.
But when did the first one open, and what are they known for?
Here are ten interesting facts about Wendy’s.
Wendy’s is named after the founder’s daughter.
Founder Dave Thomas named the fast-food chain after his fourth daughter Melinda.
Although her name was Melinda, she had trouble pronouncing her name as a child, particularly with pronouncing L’s and R’s.
So she often referred to herself as “Wenda,” and eventually, her nickname became “Wendy.”
The logo for Wendy’s was also based on her looks, with red braided hair and freckles.
There were even photos of her hung in the first Wendy’s restaurant.
The first Wendy’s opened in Ohio in 1969.
The first Wendy’s was opened on November 15, 1969, in Columbus, Ohio, US.
Back then, the restaurant was called Wendy’s old-fashioned Hamburgers, but people referred to it as Wendy’s for short.
In August 1972, Wendy’s opened its first franchise, signing an agreement for a Wendy’s restaurant to open in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Since then, the brand has continued to grow, but sadly the first Wendy’s that Thomas opened in Ohio closed its doors in 2007.
As time goes on, there is a demand for different things, and sadly this location did not have a drive-through and had a lack of parking.
Around 300 million Frostys are sold every year.
As well as its square patties, Wendy’s is known for its chocolate Frosty.
Around 300 million chocolate Frostys are served up ice cold every year.
The Frosty is so popular that Wendy’s has tried to introduce new flavors over the past 50 years.
Wendy’s has offered Frostys in strawberry and vanilla flavor as well as serving it in a waffle cone.
Although they have been making them for over 50 years, Wendy’s didn’t trademark the name “Frosty” until 2013.
Wendy’s was the first fast-food chain to introduce a value menu.
Nearly 10 years before Burger King introduced its value menu, Wendy’s was already on the trend.
In 1989 Wendy’s introduced a whole menu where items were priced at 99 cents.
Unlike other chains that offered their flagship burger for just 99 cents, Wendy’s decided to take over the market and offer a range of products for 99 cents.
This marketing trick attracted customers as there was more selection at a reduced cost, and more often than not, customers would purchase more than one item from the value menu.
Wendy’s was not the first hamburger joint to sell square patties.
Dave Thomas was inspired to open Wendy’s after his favorite burger joint called Kewpee Hamburgers in his hometown of Kalamazoo, Michigan.
Kewpee Hamburgers were one of the first hamburger restaurants to serve square-shaped patties.
Thomas enjoyed the square patties because they gave the sense of having more meat as the corners would poke out from the burger bun.
This made customers think they were getting more meat in their burgers and allowed customers to see the quality of the meat easier.
This was one of the first things added to the menu, and it became an iconic burger associated with Wendy’s.
Thomas created the Dave Thomas Foundation to help the adoption of children.
In 1992 Thomas set up the Dave Thomas Foundation, which helped adopted children.
Thomas was adopted as a child and never knew his biological family; however, his adopted family gave him love and supported him.
He wanted to raise awareness by creating a non-profit charity that could offer donations to adoption centers, so he set up a signature program called Wendy’s Wonderful Kids.
Previous to this, in 1990, President George Bush asked Thomas if he would be the spokesperson for the White House Initiative on adoption.
Wendy’s was the first fast-food restaurant to add a salad bar.
Wendy’s introduced their salad bar in 1979, and it was the first fast-food restaurant to do this.
The Superbar was set up to host the salad bar and had different areas with themed foods such as the “Garden Spot” and “Pasta Pasta.”
These were areas where customers could help themselves to unlimited salad sides for $2.99.
Sadly this was discontinued in 1988 as it was difficult to maintain and keep clean.
There is a Wendy’s board game in the style of Dungeons and Dragons.
In 2019 Wendy’s released a board game titled Feast of Legends.
The original name was Feast of Legends: Rise from the Deep Freeze, but when released, it was shortened.
The game is a tabletop game played similarly to Dungeons and Dragons, with Wendy as the Queen and main character of the game.
Japan has a foie-gras burger on the menu.
In Tokyo, Japan, a foie-gras burger was added to the menu in 2011.
This was part of a re-design of menus due to a fall in sales, so the focus went on developing a menu to suit local flavors.
The burgers sold for $16, and as well as this local adaption, you could also get an avocado wasabi hamburger.
The first European Wendy’s was opened in 1979 in Munich, Germany.
By 1976 Wendy’s had opened 500 franchises across the US and Canada.
They began to expand to Europe in 1979, starting in Germany.
Wendy’s entered the Asian market when it opened its first franchise in Japan in 1980, then Hong Kong in 1982, and South Korea in 1984.
It wasn’t until the late 1980s and early 1990s that Wendy’s expanded globally into Mexico, Turkey, New Zealand, and Indonesia.
As of 2020, they have a total of 6,500 restaurants.
Wendy’s has been around for 53 years, and it is still regarded as a popular fast-food hamburger chain.
It has expanded business on a global scale and created menus to cater to local flavors.
Wendy’s has maintained positive values in providing high-quality meats and localized menus.