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The History of Wendy's

Founder Dave Thomas opened the first Wendy’s on November 15, 1969 in Columbus, Ohio. He named the restaurant after his daughter, Wendy. A year later, he opened a second location that featured the first modern drive-thru window at a fast-food restaurant. Wendy’s was also the first fast-food chain to introduce a salad bar. By 1979, there were over 1,500 Wendy’s eateries in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. In 1984, they ran a famous campaign that made fun of other restaurants’ patties, called “Where’s the Beef?” and successfully turned it into a well-known catchphrase. Dave Thomas himself starred in most Wendy’s commercials until his passing in 2002. Shortly before Thomas’ death, the company expanded by purchasing Tim Horton’s and later also purchased Baja Fresh Mexican Grill.

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