Local Business Highlight – Wendy’s


The story of the infamous Wendy’s fast food chain is personal when it comes to central Ohio. Starting in 1969, Dave Thomas made Columbus the home to Wendy’s.

In 1975, the first Canadian restaurant was opened and by 1976, Wendy’s had its first public stock offering with one million common shares at $28 per share on the NASDAQ exchange.

In 1977, Wendy’s launched their first national television commercial, successfully making themselves the first chain with less than 1,000 to have a national advertising campaign.

Not long after, in 1978, the 1,000th Wendy’s opened in Springfield, Tennessee, making that the 1,000th restaurant that had opened in 100 months. Wendy’s just set an industry record.

Two short years after, in 1980, Wendy’s doubled that and opened their 2,000th restaurant.

In 1981, Wendy’s was listed on the New York Stock Exchange using the symbol “WEN.”

1984 brought the ever repeated, and most popular commercial of year, “Where’s the Beef” starring Ciara Peller, Elizabeth Shaw, and Mildred Lane.

1984, Wendy’s turned 15 with restaurants in 14 countries and the next year, in 1985, the 3,000th Wendy’s opens in the French Quarter in New Orleans

Dave Thomas was asked by President George H.W. Bush to serve as spokesperson for the national initiative “Adoption Works…For Everyone” in 1990 and in 1992 Thomas established the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption that wanted to achieve one goal: find a permanent, loving home for every child in foster care.

Wendy’s and Tim Hortons merged in December of 1995 – donuts, coffee, burgers and fries.

In 2001, the 6,000th Wendy’s opened in Tijuana, Mexico and nearly a year later, founder Thomas passed away.

Between 2003 and 2011, Wendy’s switched to healthier choices on their menu, such as opening a research center, salads, and fresh cut fries.

2011 brought the headquarters back to Dublin, Ohio, from Atlanta, Georgia as well as The Wendy’s Company switching from the NYSE to NASDAQ.

2012 brought a brand transformation and 2013 brought a brand logo change, the first in 30 years.

In December of 2013, Yahoo! Finance named Wendy’s Restaurant Stock of the Year thanks to a combination of menu creativity, a continuing brand transformation and rewards by shareholders.

Now, via Yahoo! Finance, Wendy’s is looking to sell another 500 stores on top of the significant amount of stores sold in the past couple of years, working towards only operating 5% of its system by the middle of 2016.

Since the sell, Wendy’s stock prices are on the rise. Many stores are being remodeled as well as built. All of the construction should be done by the end of 2020.

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