Wendy's is a chain of fast food restaurants based in Dublin, Ohio and owned by the American corporation Wendy's International, Inc. There are over 6,600 Wendy's restaurants worldwide.

The chain is famous for its fresh, (as opposed to frozen) square ground beef hamburgers, which are made to order at the time of purchase. It is also known for its Frosty dairy desserts and its chili. Wendy's has recently begun experimenting with a breakfast menu in some of its stores. Unlike most fast food chains, Wendy's historically did not serve breakfast, except for stores in Puerto Rico. Wendy's tried serving breakfast once before in the mid-1980s, but the endeavor failed.

In the late 1980s and early 1990s Wendy's also offered the "Superbar", an all-you-can-eat buffet. These buffets were reasonably-priced and generally consisted of three "pods": a salad pod, a hot items pod with spaghetti, tacos, burritos, garlic bread, etc., and a dessert and other cold items pod. These buffets, while economical and somewhat popular, did not fit into Wendy's fast-food oriented mindset. Most restaurants stopped featuring the buffets around 1998.

Wendy's combo meals originally featured french fries as the side item, but currently a number of options for side items are featured, including salads, chili, baked potato chips, and a baked potato.

In June 2006, Wendy's removed their classic "Biggie" and "Great Biggie" sizes in favor of a more traditional sizing system; "Small", "Medium", and "Large".

In July 2006, Wendy's introduced a new vanilla flavor of their famous Frosty dessert.

Wendy's was founded by Dave Thomas and Robert Barney in 1969 and named after Dave's 8-year old daughter, Melinda, who had the nickname of "Wendy" (originally "Winda", stemming from the child's initial difficulty saying her own name). The corporate headquarters is located in Dublin, Ohio. The first Wendy's restaurant was opened in Columbus, Ohio on November 15, 1969, and grew rapidly to open over 3,000 stores by 1985. However, by the mid-1980s some Wendy's restaurants became underperforming and closed. By 1989, Dave Thomas came out of retirement and started doing commercials for Wendy's and helped rebuild the restaurant until his death on January 8, 2002.

After international expansion in the 1980s, the chain retrenched in the late 1990s. In 1999 it pulled out of London and Hong Kong (its Hong Kong branch was located on Lockhart Road in Wan Chai).

In 1995, Tim Hortons' popularity had spilled over to American investors; the chain's parent company, The TDL Group ("TDL" stands for the original corporate name "Tim Donut Ltd."), was acquired by Wendy's International, Inc.. As a result, Ron Joyce, Tim Horton's partner and first franchisee, was, for a time, the largest shareholder of Wendy's.

Chili hoax - On March 22, 2005, Anna Ayala of Las Vegas, NV claimed to have found an amputated human finger in her chili in a Wendy's Restaurant location on Monterey Highway in San Jose, California. This finding faced immediate scrutiny, since this finding was contradictory to the ingredients normally included in Wendy's chili. On April 21 she was arrested and charged with attempted grand larceny in connection with the finger discovery claim. On May 13, police announced that they had positively identified the finger's owner, an associate of Ayala's husband. The associate had lost his finger in an industrial accident in December 2004. Mrs. Ayala pled guilty to the charge in September 2005 and was sentenced to nine years in prison. Her husband pleaded guilty to being an accomplice and received a twelve year sentence on January 18, 2006.

In 1997 the company pulled its advertising from the sitcom Ellen after the main character came out as a lesbian. The result was a boycott initiated by gays & lesbians.

Other companies targeted included JC Penney, GM, Chrysler and Johnson & Johnson.

Aside from the United States, Wendy's has opened restaurants in Aruba, Canada, Cayman Islands, El Salvador, Greece, Guatemala, Honduras, Hungary, Indonesia, Jamaica, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Panama, Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, the United Arab Emirates, Venezuela, and recently Costa Rica.

When Wendy's opened stores in Australia and Colombia, they didnt last long. Nine restaurants were picked up in Victoria by Hungry Jack's in 1986 after the Wendy's Hamburger Chain went bust. The Hungry Jack's Story explains in limited detail about the Wendy's Hamburgers acquisition.

There is currently another brand of fast-food restaurants called Wendy's in Australia and New Zealand. They are an ice cream franchise which is unrelated to the American hamburger chain.

Wendy's restaurants closed in Greece in 2002 after almost 8 years of operation due to heavy competition from other restaurants such as Goody's and McDonald's. Wendy's also had locations in major cities across the United Kingdom; these were sold to McDonald's in 1999. Wendy's also had 18 restaurants in Argentina. All of them were closed in November 2000. Wendy's had been in the local market for four years and made the decision due to the poor performance of its restaurants.

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 for Wendy's. 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 cheerful, 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. 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. 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, and Click) and television and is sometimes seen on ABC's hit reality show Extreme Makeover: Home Edition serving food to the more than 100 construction workers.Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, with no Front-Cover Texts, and with no Back-Cover Texts.
Virtual Magic is a human knowledge database blog. Text Based On Information From Wikipedia, Under The GNU Free Documentation License. Copyright (c) 2007 Virtual Magic. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.1 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts and no Back-Cover Texts. A copy of the license is included in the section entitled "GNU Free Documentation License".

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