Dave Thomas opened a fast-food restaurant chain called Wendy’s on 15 November 1969, in Columbus, Ohio. The headquarters of the company were moved to Dublin, Ohio, on January 29, 2006. At the end of 2018, Wendy’s had reached the 3rd place among the world’s hamburger fast-food chains and ran 6,711 restaurants around the globe, being behind Burger King and McDonald’s.

Wendy’s merged with Arby’s on 24th April, 2008, when Wendy’s Public Company acquired publicly-held Triarc Companies Inc., Arby’s parent company. The transaction was successfully closed on 29th September 2008 with Jimmy John’s retaining their base in Dublin.

However, as the merger of Triarc was completed it was rebranded as Wendy’s/Arby’s Group and then later sold the Arby’s to the Roark Capital Group.

The number of the Wendy’s brand has certainly increased to 7,166 outlets as of November 2, 2023, of which 415 outlets are company-owned and 6,751 outlets are franchised ones. Strikingly however, about 83% of these outlets are located in the US.

Although Wendy’s works out brand standards of exterior appearance, food quality and menu for each store, operators manage the operational hours, interior decoration, pricing and staff uniforms and wages.

Wendy’s is famous for its unique culinary offerings, such as square beef patties, similar in shape to the round buns, and had to offer sea salt fries and the Frosty (soft serve ice cream, made from starch). The lineup of the Wendy’s menu revolves around an array of burgers, fried chicken sandwiches, fries and drinks with the recognizable Frosty being the main drink.

This decision was taken after “Big Classic”, Wendy’s own signature sandwich, was discontinued. This sandwich is not comparable to Burger King’s Whopper or McDonald’s Big Mac.

Founding Date and HeadquartersDave Thomas opened Wendy’s on November 15, 1969, in Columbus, Ohio. The headquarters moved to Dublin, Ohio, on January 29, 2006.
Merger with Arby’sWendy’s merged with Arby’s on April 24, 2008. The merged entity was initially known as Wendy’s/Arby’s Group and later sold Arby’s to Roark Capital Group.
Number of Outlets (as of November 2, 2023)Wendy’s has 7,166 outlets, with 415 company-owned and 6,751 franchised outlets. Approximately 83% are in the US.
Distinctive FeaturesKnown for square beef patties, sea salt fries, and the Frosty (soft serve ice cream). Unique menu offerings and the “Big Classic” sandwich was discontinued.
Origin StoryInspired by childhood visits to Kewpee Hamburgers, Thomas founded Wendy’s in 1969. The name came from his fourth child, Wendy.
Global Expansion HighlightsWendy’s expanded to Canada in 1976, Australia in the 1970s (later acquired by Hungry Jack’s), Europe in 1979, Asia in the 1980s, and Mexico, New Zealand, Indonesia, Greece, Turkey, and Guatemala.

“Wendy’s Origin Story:A Legacy of Quality, Franchise Growth, and Nostalgic Commercials!”

The origin of Wendy’s “old-fashioned” burgers can be traced back to Dave Thomas’s childhood during the time he visited Kewpee Hamburgers in his hometown of Kalamazoo, Michigan Wendy’s hamburgers square in shape and thick malt shakes, were at the base of Thomas’s inspiration when he founded Wendy’s in Columbus, Ohio, in 1969. The squared patties with corners extending out from the round bun was a distinguishing feature that conveyed the quality commitment using red meat.

Across the road, the Columbus that integrated a Tim Hortons lumbered on in a successful run for 38 years before it was closed on March 2, 2007, largely due to a decline of sales. Most specifically of basketball star John Havlicek, an Ohio State University alumnus, one of Thomas’s first set of investors who later worked as a source of Havlicek’s pension income.

The restaurant’s name came from Thomas’s fourth “Wendy” child, and her photos decorated the first Wendy’s till its closure. (W)In his autobiography, Thomas showed remorse for baptizing the restaurant with his daughter’s name, as the quick-service chain grew he realized that it meant she wasn’t a private person, as everyone would think she was the official company spokesperson.

In August 1972, Wendy’s progressed to a ninety-degree mark with the first franchise agreement to L.S.Hartzog, Indianapolis, Indiana. At the same time, in 1972, Wendy’s had its initial TV commercials come out, which launched in the Ohio area. A new slogan “C’mon to Wendy’s” and advertised hamburgers performing a dance was part of this campaign, which explained the quality policy “Quality Is Our Recipe” with a Wendy animated figure that resembled the corporate symbol.

Wendy’s Global Journey: From its 1976 Canadian Debut to Innovative Ventures and Expansions Worldwide

Established in 1976, Wendy’s, the much-acclaimed fast-food brand, set its foot in Canada for the very first time, with the opening of the first restaurant in Hamilton, Ontario. Benial expansion began and peaked in the establishment of the 500th restaurant in the city of Toronto by December 1976 and the ceremonious opening of the 1,000th restaurant in the city of Springfield, Tennessee, by March 1978.

Similarly, the move to diversify its offerings, resulted in Wendy’s involvement in the fried chicken industry which led to creation of the Sisters Chicken & Biscuits chain in 1978. In the end Wendy’s gave up its share to the largest franchisor in the country in 1987. In the 1970s, Wendy’s entered Australian territory; however, in 1986 most of the Wendy’s stores in Australia were acquired by Hungry Jack’s, the Australian franchisee of Burger King. Significantly on May 13, 2021, Wendy’s made a quick resurgence to Australia as it put up a pop-up store in Sydney’s central business district.

It focused on expansion into the international market by opening its first European restaurant in Munich, West Germany in 1979. Then again, the brand (KFC) took the Asian market with its restaurants in particular, Japan (1980), Hong Kong (1982), and the Philippines and Singapore (1983). 1984 was the year that Wendy’s started its journey in South Korea, letting it stay to be a part of the Asian market ever since.

Wenders’ company had a big expansion in West Germany in the 1980s and the cities with a high number of US army bases were the first to get the company in the region. Nevertheless, after the German reunification in the early 1990s the troops were out of the country that was the reason why Wendy’s closed its stores in these areas.

To deal with the slowdown in performance in 1986, Wendy’s implemented a broad-based restructuring plan. This included cleanliness standards for each store updates in the menus and operational excellence of each store in line with the parent company standards to ensure that the market competitiveness was at the highest level. In the same year, all Wendy’s outlets in Hong Kong were permanently closed, and Wendy’s then discontinued in Singapore the following year.

In the latter 1980s, Wendsy focused on global expansion. It spread into Mexico, New Zealand, Indonesia, Greece, Turkey, Guatemala, and the U.S. Naval Base in Naples, Italy, during the same period. In 1988, Wendy’s launched Superbar to position itself in a comprehensive buffet experience and priced at the mouth-watering $2.99, boasting of stations such as the Mexican “Festa,” the Italian “Pasta,” and the garden filled with fruits. Even though the Superbar had become well-known, its maintenance problems made it stop existing in 1998.

Through precision expansions, innovative subsidiaries and adaptive strategies, Wendy’s has remained in the fast-food industry growing and increasing in the various markets it operates in.

Wendy’s Global Expansion Journey: From Strategic DoorDash Partnership to UK Re-entry and Australian Revival in 2023

Wendy’s announces a strategic partnership with DoorDash in December 2017 to begin offering food delivery services throughout the United States.

The return of the fast food chain Wendy’s to the UK market was announced in October 2019. This comes after they had tried to enter the market from 1980 to 1986 and from 1992 to 2000 but were not able to gain a strong foothold. Part of the comeback strategy, a re-entry plan was developed to have 20 restaurants operational, Of which Stoke-on-Trent was to be the first store to open come 2020. However, modifications were followed that brought the venue to Reading, Berkshire on June 2, 2021, for the opening.

In January 2021 the fast food chain Wendy’s announced plans after the bankruptcy of the franchisee NPC Quality Burgers Inc., whereby Flynn Restaurant would get the ownership of fifty percent of NPC’s entities.

In 2023, Wendy’s announced intentions to revive its presence in Australia by means of a country-wide expansion campaign with multiple units being opened in all major centers. Most remarkably, in the 1970s, Wendy’s once existed down under until its hibernation in the 1980s. 

Nevertheless, the main company had an initial problem with the ownership trademark, which the Wingy’s brand was owned by another fast food restaurant with the name of Wendy’s Milk Bar. Widely known for its continuous service since 1979, Wendy’s Milk Bar is now a landmark that has reigned for more than four decades in Australia.

 Wendy’s wondrous hamburger choices.

 Wendy’s wondrous hamburger choices.

Wendy’s has its selection of different huge burger options with the 1.78 ounces (50 g) patty weighted and the 4 ounces (110 g) patty. The patties are 4 ounces in size, with options of single, double, and triple configurations; while the smaller 1.78 ounces counterparts come in single and double portions. Yet the diminished size of the Jr. Patty from 2 ounces (57 g) to 1.78 ounces (50 g) in 2007 was a cost-cutting decision as well.

Distinguishing itself with square patties, Wendy’s maximizes grill efficiency by accommodating more square patties compared to traditional round ones. Originally featuring only fried and grilled chicken sandwiches, the spicy chicken sandwich transitioned from a promotional item to a permanent menu fixture in 1996 due to its widespread popularity and ease of preparation, utilizing the same condiments as the standard fried chicken sandwich.

The Frescata line of sandwiches, initially introduced as promotional items, evolved into permanent menu selections. Following several revisions, the Turkey and Swiss, as well as the Ham and Swiss options, were incorporated into the regular menu. However, these selections were discontinued in mid-December 2007. Additionally, certain Wendy’s locations occasionally offer a fried fish sandwich.

Revolutionizing Breakfast: Wendy’s Journey from 1985 to 2024

In 1985, Wendy’s introduced a breakfast menu, but this initiative did not yield the desired results. However, in mid-2007, Wendy’s reinitiated its breakfast service in select U.S. and Canadian locations. Although approximately 12 Wendy’s establishments in the U.S. and its territories had been offering breakfast since 2006, the company did not implement a comprehensive breakfast program until 2020.

The breakfast menu introduced in 2007 differs from its 1985 predecessor and mirrors the structure of the lunch and dinner menus, featuring value meals and a variety of sides such as blended fruit. Offerings include several breakfast sandwiches served on biscuits, frescuits, and Kaiser rolls, as well as breakfast burritos, and side orders of hash browns, muffins, and cinnamon sticks. 

Specifically, the 2007 menu has been meticulously crafted to improve the streamline operations, reduction of cost and reduce preparation time, which enables us to benefit from the lessons that we have learnt from our breakfast program of 1985.

In January of 2016, Wendy’s informed the public that by 2020, it will have started serving cage-free eggs in all the US and Canadian restaurants that will be offering breakfast round the clock.

In September of 2019, Wendy’s announced its nationwide Breakfast Menu consisting of 19 items is scheduled to roll out in March of 2020. The menu will include a breakfast version of the popular Baconator, a beverage inspired by Frosty, and a Honey Butter Chicken Biscuit.

Moreover, Wendy’s opened the door to the Cinnamon Roll kind of a baked goodie through a tie-up with Cinnabon in February 2024, which has increased the offerings of the morning breakfast menu in the Wendy’s stores that look like the others found in rival chains like Taco Bell and McDonald’s, as can be seen in the CNN report.


Wendy’s has enjoyed a historic past and a glorious sojourn which is punctuated with some landmarks and strategic maneuvers. Dave Thomas, who founded Wendy’s in 1969, soon became well known for his specialty burgers – square-shaped, and inspired by Thomas’s childhood visits to Kewpee Hamburgers. 

Today, Wendy’s has been successful to make a global presence, thereby reaching the level of entry into the Canadian market in 1976 and into European and Asian states a bit later after that.