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Wendy's Old Fashioned Hamburgers is an international chain of fast food restaurants founded by Dave Thomas on November 15, 1969, in Columbus, Ohiomarker. As of December 2006, Wendy's was the world's third largest hamburger fast food chain with approximately 6,700 locations following McDonald's 31,000 locations and Burger King's 11,200 locations. On April 24, 2008, the company announced a merger with Triarc, the parent company of Arby's. Despite the new ownership, Wendy's remains headquartered in Dublin, Ohiomarker.Previously, Wendy's had rejected more than two buyout offers from Triarc Companies Inc. Following the merger, Triarc became known as Wendy's/Arby's Group.

Wendy's/Arby's Group is the parent company of Wendy's, and is a publicly traded company. Approximately 77% of Wendy's restaurants are franchised, the majority of which are located in North America. Wendy's and its affiliates employs more than 46,000 people in its global operations. In fiscal year 2006, the firm had $9.45 billion (USD) in total sales. While Wendy's sets standards for exterior store appearance, food quality and menu, individual owners have control over hours of operations, interior decor, pricing and staff uniforms and wages.

Wendy's menu consists primarily of hamburgers, chicken sandwiches, French fries and beverages, including the Frosty. The company does not have a signature sandwich, such as the Big Mac or the Whopper. Instead, the square burger patties it uses in its sandwiches are the signature item. The company also advertises that its burgers are made from fresh ground beef, not frozen patties.


The chain is known for its square ground beef hamburgers and the Frosty, a form of soft ice cream. The idea for Wendy's "old fashioned" hamburgers was actually inspired by Dave Thomas's trips to Kewpee Hamburgers in his home town of Kalamazoo, Michiganmarker. The Kewpee sold square hamburgers and thick malt shakes, much like the famous restaurant that Thomas eventually founded in Columbus, Ohiomarker, in 1969. Thomas named the restaurant after his fourth child Melinda Lou "Wendy" Thomas.

In response to a 1986 slowdown in the chain's performance, Wendy's restructured its cleanliness standards, menu and other operational details to ensure that stores met the goals and standards of the parent company so that its franchises were competitive in the market.

The original location was closed in March 2007 due to declining sales. Photographs of her were on display at the original Wendy's in Columbus prior to its closing. Serial killer Arthur Shawcross was known to have an obsessive fondness for Wendy's.


Wendy's offers two different hamburger patties, a "Junior" 1.78 ounce (50.4 gram) patty and its "Single" 4 ounce (113.4 gram) patty. Both patties are sold in single, double, and triple sandwich sizes. The previous size of 2 ounces per junior patty was altered to its current size in 2007 to save on expenses from rising food costs. Originally Wendy's had only two kinds of chicken sandwiches, fried and grilled. Their spicy chicken sandwich started out as a promotional sandwich but was put on the menu full-time in 1996 due to its popularity and the fact that compared to most promotional sandwiches, it was much simpler to make (it used the same condiments as the standard breaded chicken sandwich).

Also the Frescata line of sandwiches went from promotional items to being main menu items. After going through several revisions the Turkey and Swiss and the Ham and Swiss were put on the menu full-time. However the Frescata sandwiches were discontinued in December 2007.

In 1988, they were the first fast-food chain to create a single price-point value menu where all items listed on that menu were priced exclusively at 99¢. The menu was restructured in 2007 due to rising costs as the Super Value Menu with prices ranging from 99¢ to $2.00 USD.


In mid-2007 Wendy's began a national debut of its new breakfast menu in its U.S. and Canadian stores. Wendy's experimented with serving breakfast for a short time in the mid-1980s, but the endeavor was unsuccessful due to many issues. While approximately 12 Wendy's restaurants in the U.S. and its territories have been serving breakfast since then, Wendy's has not had a company-wide breakfast offering. The new breakfast menu should be fully deployed to all Wendy's in the United States by the end of 2009.

The new breakfast menu differs slightly from the one featured in the 1980s, and it is structured similarly to its lunch/dinner menu with value meals and various sides like blended fruit. Menu items include several breakfast sandwiches served on biscuits, frescuit and Kaiser rolls, breakfast burritos and side orders of hash browns, muffins, and cinnamon sticks. In order to avoid the same issues the original 1980s breakfast offerings faced, the new menu was designed for ease of operation, lower costs, and reduced preparation time.

Menu items

Wendy's Baconator burger with fries
  • Wendy's features French fries as its primary side item, but also offers a number of options for side items including salads, chili, mandarin oranges and baked potatoes. In several markets the customer may request any of these be substituted for fries in their value meals. A squeeze yogurt is also recently available for kids meals and as a substitute for combo meals, which has just recently been discontinued in some stores.
  • Frosty dessert - a soft serve ice cream dessert sold in chocolate and vanilla flavors. The Frosty flavors are also sold as a float and a mix-in dessert, called the Twisted Frosty, with Oreo, M&Ms or Nestle Tollhouse Cookie Dough mix-ins. Recently, Frosty Shakes - a Frosty blended with either vanilla bean, strawberry or chocolate fudge syrup - have been served at Wendy's. Recently in 2009, some Wendy's locations began to serve Frosty-Cino shakes, made with coffee syrup and topped with whipped cream and chocolate dessert topping. They also added the coffee-toffee Twisted Frosty, a twisted frosty made with toffee topping in the same manner as the other Twisted Frostys.
  • In Costa Ricamarker, gallo pinto is available. Gallo pinto is a breakfast dish made with fried rice and black beans.
  • In Japan, Wendy's offers a red bean paste and cheese sandwich called an "An" Burger (あんバーガー). Japanese Wendy's official site
  • Big Classic - A sandwich that directly competes with the Burger King Whopper. Mayonnaise, lettuce, tomato, pickle, ketchup and onion served on a Kaiser-style roll. A second version with bacon is available, called the Big Bacon Classic.
  • Baconator - with mayonnaise, ketchup, 6 strips of bacon, two 1/4 pound (113.4 gram) patties, and two slices of American cheese. In March 2008, Wendy's unveiled its promo Spicy Baconator, which consists of 6 strips of bacon, two slices of pepperjack cheese, a chipotle ranch sauce, and jalapeños.
  • The Double Stack is Wendy's $1.50 double cheeseburger. It comes with two 1.78-ounce patties, American cheese, ketchup, 2 pickle, 2 onion and mustard on a small bun (edited). It was on the menu in the 80's and 90's, replaced with the $1.29 "Stack Attack" for several years, and brought back in late 2008.
  • In December 2006, Wendy's phased out and stopped offering their fried "homestyle" chicken strips in most U.S. locations. There is now a chicken club combo in the strips' place, which features a homestyle chicken breast with Swiss cheese, 3 strips of bacon, lettuce, tomato, and mayonnaise. Wendy's also offers the spicy or grilled chicken fillet sandwich, which comes with either honey mustard or mayonnaise, lettuce, and tomato. The homestyle chicken strips are still available in Canadamarker.
  • Outlets in North Carolinamarker and South Carolinamarker offer a sandwich called the Carolina Classic. The sandwich consists of a single quarter pound patty of beef, topped with chili and cole slaw.


After successful early growth of the chain, sales flattened as the company struggled to achieve brand differentiation in the highly competitive fast-food market. This situation would turn around in the mid-1980s. Starting on January 9, 1984, elderly actress Clara Peller was featured in the successful "Where's the Beef?" North American commercial campaign written by Cliff Freeman. Her famous line quickly entered the American pop culture (it was even used by Walter Mondale in a debate with Gary Hart in the Democratic primary election) and served to promote Wendy's hamburgers. Peller, age 84, was dropped from the campaign in 1985 because she performed in a commercial for Prego spaghetti sauce, saying she "finally found" the beef.

Peller was soon after replaced by Wendy's founder Dave Thomas himself. Soft-spoken and bashful, the "Dave" ads generally focused on Thomas praising his products and offering a commitment to quality service, although there would occasionally be "wackier" ads as well. In 1997, the company pulled its advertising from the sitcom Ellen after the show's main character came out as a lesbian. The result was a boycott initiated by the gay and lesbian community. After Dave Thomas' death in 2002, Wendy's struggled to find a new advertising campaign. After a round of conventional ads describing the food they serve, in 2004 they tried using a character they made called "Mr. Wendy" who claimed to be the unofficial spokesperson for the chain. These proved to be extremely unsuccessful. After seven months, Wendy's returned to an animated campaign focusing on the difference between Wendy's square hamburgers and the round hamburgers of competitors.

Wendy's marketing arm engages in product placement in films (such as The Day After Tomorrow, Mr. Deeds, Garfield: The Movie, Zoom, and Click) and television and is sometimes seen on ABC's reality show Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, serving food to the more than 100 construction workers. A recent Wendy's commercial features the tune from the Violent Femmes song "Blister in the Sun."

With their recent "That's right." ad campaign not a success, Wendy's has unveiled a new ad campaign, featuring an animated Wendy that's voiced by Luci Christian highlighting certain menu items. The new ad campaign made its debut in late January 2008, with a new slogan: "It's waaaay better than fast food. It's Wendy's."


US - Canada

  • 1969 - 1978: Quality Is Our Recipe (This Slogan is still shown on the Wendy's logo today.)
  • 1978 - 1979: Juicy hamburgers
  • 1979 - 1980: Hot-N-Juicy
  • 1980 - 1981: Wendy's Has the Taste You Crave
  • 1981 - 1982: Ain't No Reason to Go Anyplace Else
  • 1982 - 1985: You're Wendy's Kind of People
  • 1983 - 1984: Parts is parts
  • 1984 - 1986: Where's the beef?
  • 1985 - 1988: Choose Fresh, choose Wendy's (Originally used alongside "Where's the Beef?")
  • 1987 - 1993: Give a little nibble
  • 1988 - 1992: The best burgers in the business.
  • 1989 - 1998: The best burgers and a whole lot more (also was printed inside the hamburger wrappers during the 1990s)
  • 1997 - Present: You can eat great, even late
  • 2001 - 2005: It's hamburger bliss.
  • 2002 - 2005: It's better here
  • 2003 - 2007: It's Always Great, Even Late. (Canada)
  • 2005 - 2007: Do what tastes right. (primary slogan)
  • 2005 - Present: It's good to be square.
  • January 2007 - October 2007: That's right.
  • January 2007 - October 2007: Uh Huh.
  • 2007 - 2008: Hot Juicy Burgers
  • January 2008 - October 2009: It's waaay better than fast food... It's Wendy's. (US)
  • January 2008 - Present: It's waaaaaaaaaay delicious. It's Wendy's. (Canada)
  • January 2008 - Present: C'est manièèèèèèèèèère délicieux. C'est Wendy's. (Quebec)
  • October 2009 - Present: You know when it's real.


  • 1983: It's the best time for...Wendy's (Philippinesmarker)
  • 2000 (approx) - Present: Quality is our recipe (New Zealandmarker)
  • 2000 (approx) - Present: Wendy's cuadra contigo (Wendy's fits with you). The word cuadra (fit) is a reference to the word cuadro that means square (Venezuelamarker)
  • 2001 (approx) - Present: El Sabor de lo Recien Hecho (The Flavor of the Freshly Made) (Hondurasmarker)
  • 2007 (approx) - Present: Wendy's es Sensacional (Wendy's is Sensational) (El Salvadormarker)
  • 2008 - Present: It's not just fast food; it's fresh food, made fast [759511] (Malaysiamarker)
  • 2008 - Present: Old Fashion Hamburgers (Dominican Republicmarker)
  • 2009 - Present: "Wendy's, Sabor al cuadrado" (Mexicomarker)

Global locations

Wendy's headquarters in Dublin, Ohio

Countries formerly with Wendy's

  • Argentinamarker (1996 – 2000) Reopening planned for 2009.
  • (1994 – 2002) Reopening planned for 2009.
  • (1991 – 2000)

  • (1993 – 2000) Reopening on December 1, 2009.
  • (1984 to 1998)
  • (c.1980 – 1986; 1992 – 2000; one store operated to 2007)


  1. What happened to Clara Peller
  2. Ellen Degeneres Boycott
  3. CNN Money article on news feed
  4. Wendy's closes Argentina stores, raises EPS goal
  5. Wendy's takes strategic action in Argentina market
  6. Wendy's 等先後結業
  7. [1]

External links

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