The real-life Wendy native Wendy’s (2007), photograph by Marada native
While Wendy’s might not it is in the greatest burger restaurant chain globally, that is certainly among the world’s most popular. The once tiny operation has grown right into a fleet the 6,500 stores in end thirty countries with fourty years that service.

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All this permits the company to rake in over a billion dollars worth of sales annually. It’s for sure to say the the fast-food industry's redheaded and freckled darling is doing pretty well for herself.

But have actually you ever before wondered who Wendy from Wendy’s also is? We understand the McDonald brothers developed McDonald’s, yet did Wendy create Wendy’s?

Well, dear other curious cat, Wendy’s to be not developed by Wendy. The famous restaurant Wendy’s was invented by Wendy’s father, Dave Thomas. The story behind just how he constructed the well known chain is nice inspiring. It is a tale including adoption, a run-in with Colonel Sanders, and also innovations causing success.

Abandoned beginnings


Wendy’s father, Dave cutting board (1999), photo by man Matthew blacksmith &, via Wikimedia Commons

Dave cutting board was born on July 2, 1932, however just weeks after his birth, his biological parents set him up because that adoption. Dave to be fortunate enough to be adopted, however this was really well-kept mystery until he became a teenager.

His family bounced about several states for work during his childhood, for this reason Dave can not secure consistent work himself. He acquired his first job at age 12 however was conveniently fired after ~ an dispute with his boss. According to Dave’s biography, this upset his adopted father and also traumatized him to the allude where he promised himself the he would never lose an additional job.

When he to be fifteen, he decided to move away native his father and found a place close come the “Hobby House,” a new restaurant that hired him. Small did he recognize that years later, the would meet Kentucky Fried Chicken’s hotheaded Colonel Sanders with the course of his employment.

An encounter through the Colonel


Colonel Sanders’s company card (circa 1950), photo by Mr. Blue Maumau native Flickr

In 1950, Dave functioned as a cook for the US military but was eventually discharged in 1953. Once he returned to the Hobby home for work, he had actually a life-changing encounter through the Colonel.

At that time, Sanders to be knocking ~ above the doors the every restaurant the he might find, attempting come franchise come them the recipe because that his fried chicken. Dave was skeptical at first and even told his employers:

“Why must we salary some guy who looks choose a billy goat because that his recipe when we already have an excellent chicken?”

Dave and the owner the the Hobby residence took a bite and also confirmed the it was finger-licking good. They took Sanders up on his offer and also found exponential success.

People loved it so lot that hobby House decided to thrive its franchise with Kentucky Fried Chicken aggressively. The owner, with new partners, opened four much more restaurants about Columbus, Ohio. Unfortunately, these weren’t together successful.

The partners because that these stores mismanaged them to the suggest where understanding House’s owner drown under 2 million dollars of debt. The only thing that saved them was Dave’s ingenuity.

For a 40% share of the stores, Dave was lugged on to carry things around. The introduced major changes such together a simplified menu, adopting a various frying method, and creating the brand’s an initial iconic bucket sign. This stores ended up being extremely lucrative under Dave’s management. He offered his shares seven years later on for 1.5 million dollars.

With this, Dave had the accumulation to lastly start his own restaurant. Being much more of a burger man himself, he developed the restaurant we now know as “Wendy’s.”

Innovation causing success

Wendy’s Burger and also Fries (2011), picture by Jed De La Cruz, CC through 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons

The first-ever Wendy’s opened on November 15, 1969, in Columbus, Ohio. Dave called the restaurant after his eight-year-old daughter, blessed through bright red hair, Wendy.

The operation easily won over human being with their tasty square-shaped patties and sweet, frosty desserts. Follow to Dave’s biography, the branch to be already transforming a profit within the first month and also a half of operations.

Dave’s innovative mind continued to push his restaurant to better heights. In 1971, Wendy’s ended up being the an initial restaurant to usage a pick-up window for takeout. A few years later, Dave presented stuffed potatoes, salad bars, and also 99 cent extra worth meals to Wendy’s offerings — all of which to be well got by that is patrons.

Final thoughts
Wendy Thomas presenting a burger named after she father

The story the Wendy’s is inspirational due to the fact that it demonstrates that tough work can overcome personal circumstances. Dave go from gift an abandoned kid to the owner of a multimillion-dollar agency by dedicating his entire life to the restaurant craft.

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Interestingly enough, years after his passing, his daughter Wendy named a brand-new burger after her dad. Consider ordering a “Dave’s warm ’N Juicy Cheeseburger” following time you come through a Wendy’s. If did you do it made it this far in the story, I’m certain it’ll it is in a pretty systematic meal.