How Wendy's Became the Third Largest Burger Chain on the Planet

A burger-flipping success story

Since 1969, Wendy's has been churning out delectable square-shaped hamburgers and is thought to be the third-largest burger chain in the world.

Back to the very beginning

Dave Thomas, a man from modest circumstances who had a vision of what the ideal burger and fast-food business should look like, founded Wendy's.

What's in a name?

Dave made the decision to name his fast-food restaurant Wendy's after his daughter Melinda.

The very first Wendy's

The first Wendy's restaurant opened on November 15, 1969, at 257 East Broad Street in Columbus, the state capital of Ohio. The relaxed eatery quickly became a neighbourhood favourite among many burger-loving residents.

Wendy's doesn't "cut corners"

The square beef patties that flow enticingly from the limits of a pillowy white bun became Wendy's trademark.

An early drive-thru

Wendy's was writing the history of fast food by the 1970s. The restaurant invented what Wendy's currently refers to as the "first modern drive through" in November 1970.

Oh, Canada

With sales thriving by the middle of the 1970s, Dave made the decision to expand his burger business up north. The first restaurant outside of the United States debuted in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, in September 1975.

Wendy's hits the small screen

Dave Thomas, never one to rest on his laurels, determined in the late 1970s that it was time to spend Wendy's marketing budget effectively.

A meaty milestone

In March 1978, Wendy's opened its 1,000th hamburger place, less than a year after the debut of the first TV ad and more than ten years after the opening of the first restaurant.

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