Traditional recipes

Meet Brandon Alster, Co-Founder of Merge Social

Meet Brandon Alster, Co-Founder of Merge Social

You just got out of Econ 101 lecture, and you only have 30 minutes to grab a quick bite to eat before you’re off to AmCult 202. You pull out your phone and scramble to text anyone who you think may be around to stop by Amer’s or Revive. You pace in front of Lorch Hall, scrolling past the same Instagram repetitively as you await a response. After what seems like a lifetime, the reply texts start to flood in.

“Sorry, stuck in Chem ‘til 1!”

“I ate before my Psych class at 12, like every Tuesday.”

Damn.

As the ‘sorry’ texts finish blowing up your phone, your time has run out. It’s 12:49 and now, you’ve only got two options: pulling a Steven Glansberg cameo at Beanster’s…

Gif courtesy of brightsidelive.com
Steven Glansberg: the real star of Superbad.

… or dealing with a grumbling stomach loud enough to be heard by an entire lecture hall.

As busy college students, we rarely have a second that can go to waste (exceptions: Netflix and public crying in the UGLi during finals season). So, scheduling is key. Downtime between classes is the perfect opportunity to both have lunch and simultaneously catch up with friends. But coordinating with different schedules… basically impossible. It’s a deadly situation that often leaves us requesting a table for one. Fortunately, you are not alone. Michigan Sophomores Brandon Alster and Danny Steinmetz faced the same problem their freshman year. Luckily for us, this duo decided to actually do something about it… unlike Steven Glansberg.

Here’s what cofounder Brandon Alster had to say about the scheduling app they created: Merge.

“I would get out of class and text and call my friends, but they were always busy,” Alster explains. “It would take 10 or 15 minutes before I’d finally find someone, and by that time, it was time for my next class. After talking to our friends, Danny and I realized that a lot of people face this problem.”

So, after months of what Alster called “dorm-room brainstorming,” followed by a summer of hard work (summer + hard work = ???), these two boys co-founded and successfully launched the Merge app.

Photo by Rachael Ferreira

Merge Social is a scheduling app geared towards Michigan students, and is available for free in the iTunes app store.

Here is how it works: after downloading, the user signs-in through Facebook or with their UMich ID. Users are prompted to input their weekly schedule, then the Michigan LSA Course guide will pop up, where you can search your classes by department (Ross and Kinesiology classes are listed as well). Next, the user will select their classes and input their respective discussion and labs. Once a schedule has been entered, users add friends via e-mail, their contacts, or Facebook. And boom, you’re ready to start Merging.

Once you’ve added buddies to your list, you’re able to see whether or not they are free for dinner plans or even just to hang out. If a friend is listed as free, you can click the Message tab and choose “Ask to Get Lunch,” “Ask to Chill” or simply “SMS,” and the app will drop you right into an iMessage/text message conversation with that user. Bonus convenience points: depending on what option you have chosen, “Wanna grab lunch?” or “Wanna chill?” will already be written out.

Merge is an innovative idea that has made day-to-day scheduling easier for over 3,000 Michigan student users.

“Everyone is busy during the day doing their own thing, so it’s hard to meet up for small things… Now, everyone’s schedules are the palm of your hand,” Alster said.

Merge launched on Michigan campus at the start of the Fall 2013 semester, and has yet to show signs of slowing down. Merge has an on-campus representative program where fellow students can help spread the word about Merge across campus, as well as brainstorm ideas for app development.

The two founders warn me to keep an eye out for app updates next semester, and they plan to expand to other universities in the following year.

To learn more, follow Merge on twitter and ‘like’ them on Facebook.

A word of advice from a converted Merge user: search Merge Social in the app store, download and Merge On.

The post Meet Brandon Alster, Co-Founder of Merge Social appeared first on Spoon University.


Meet Brandon Alster, Co-Founder of Merge Social - Recipes

The beginning of a journey – on November 15, 1969, Dave Thomas opened his very first Wendy’s restaurant in Columbus, Ohio at 257 East Broad Street. In no time, the quick-service chain became known for its square beef patties, made from fresh beef, and iconic Frosty ® desserts.

First Pick-Up Window

Wendy’s introduced the first modern drive through to the world what Dave Thomas coined the “Pick-Up Window”. This innovation was so revolutionary that customers needed instructions on how to talk through the speaker to place an order. Originally called the “drive-in window,” Dave wanted to change the name from something that could attract cruisers and joyriders.

First Canadian Restaurant Opens

Wendy’s brought the beef to Canada when it opened the first international Wendy’s restaurant in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.

Wendy’s Goes Public

Wendy’s had its initial public stock offering on the NASDAQ exchange, issuing one million shares of common stock at $28 per share.

First Wendy’s Commercial Aired

Lights, camera, action! Wendy’s took its advertising to the small screen, making a name as the first quick-service chain with less than 1,000 restaurants to launch a national advertising campaign.

1,000th Wendy’s Restaurant Opens

The 1,000 th Wendy’s restaurant opened in Springfield, Tennessee and broke records for being the company’s 1,000 th restaurant in just 100 months.

Introducing the Salad Bar

Among all the fresh beef, Wendy’s added the salad bar to its menu to diversify the options for those who wanted to go green with their meals. Wendy’s salad bar was a hit in the 70’s and 80’s, but as Wendy’s restaurants became more operationally efficient and customers desired more portable salad offerings, salad bars were phased out in 2006.

2,000th Wendy’s Restaurant Opens

1980 marked the milestone of 2,000 Wendy’s restaurants…and counting.

Wendy’s Joins NYSE

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

Baked Potatoes Added to the Menu

Baked potatoes joined the menu in 1983. The Wendy’s baked potato saw success in the 80’s as the ever-memorable “hot-stuffed” and has stood the test of time as a tried and true favorite for customers seeking a lighter side or as a destination to accompany their chili.

“Where’s the Beef®?” Commercial Aired

Clara Peller became an overnight sensation when she inspected a fluffy hamburger bun that lacked in the beef department and exclaimed, “Where’s the Beef?”. The tagline became so popular that the advertisement led to a 31% boost in Wendy’s annual revenue, and even sparked a merchandise line for fans.

3,000th Wendy’s Restaurant Opens

The French Quarter in New Orleans was the location of this milestone – the 3,000th restaurant. You can guess by now that there’s more to come.

Dave’s First TV Commercial

Dave Thomas starred in his first commercial in 1989, and quickly became a nationwide household name. After the first national campaign, Dave went on to appear in more than 800 commercials through the years.

Super Value Menu Launched

Wendy’s was the first to introduce the concept of a Super Value Menu and it took off with nine items available for 99¢ every day. The menu offerings rotated based on what customers were craving.

Grilled Chicken Sandwich Debuted

Wendy’s nutrition policy was expanding, and so was the menu. The grilled chicken sandwich made its first appearance in 1990 as a lighter, lower calorie offering for customers seeking a non-fried chicken protein option.

Wendy’s Embraces Adoption

In 1990, President George H.W. Bush asked Dave Thomas to serve as spokesperson for the national adoption initiative, “Adoption Works…For Everyone.” Wendy’s embraced adoption as its national charitable cause, and in the years since has committed millions of dollars to raise awareness for children in foster care and foster care adoption.

Fresh-Made Salads To-Go

Salad on the run, anyone? Born from Wendy’s successful and iconic salad bar, Wendy’s turned customers’ attention to new, fresh-made salads they could get to-go: Grilled Chicken, Taco Caesar, Deluxe Garden, and Side Salads were the first salad offerings featured.

Dave Thomas Established the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption®

Our founder, Dave Thomas, was adopted as a child, and created the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption (DTFA) because he believed every child deserves a permanent, loving home. The DTFA is the only public, non-profit charity in the United States that is focused only on foster care adoption.

Wendy’s 3Tour Challenge Debuts

To benefit the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, Wendy’s hosted the 3Tour Challenge – An annual golf tournament that continued through 2013, raising more than 11.6 million in net proceeds in over two decades. The 3Tour Challenge was the only professional golf tournament that professionals from the PGA, LPGA, and Champions Tour went head-to-head for the 3Tour title.

4,000th Wendy’s Restaurant Opens

The 4,000th Wendy’s opened in Bentonville, Arkansas, and was one of 250 Wendy’s restaurants opened in 1992.

Wendy’s Turns 25

Wendy’s celebrated its milestone 25th birthday with the best present ever – all-time record systemwide sales of $4.2 billion in 1994.

Wendy’s High School Heisman® Program Kicks Off

In 1993, Dave Thomas received his high school equivalency certificate and shared with 2,500 graduating seniors that he felt his biggest mistake was not finishing high school. Created to honor those who value education, and in partnership with the Heisman Trophy Trust ® , Wendy’s established the Wendy’s High School Heisman program to celebrate high-school senior athletes who went above and beyond in learning, performing, and leading on and off the field. Twenty-five years and hundreds of thousands of exceptional high school scholar-athletes later, the program honored its final class of students in December 2018.

Wendy’s Acquires Tim Hortons®

Would you like a side of donuts with your hamburger? In December 1995, Wendy’s completed its acquisition of Tim Hortons, a Canadian restaurant chain that features coffee and fresh baked goods.

Spicy Chicken Sandwich Launch

In 1995, Wendy’s was the first major fast food restaurant chain to introduce a spicy chicken sandwich to its menu. Fans loved the spicy kick of the chicken complimented by mayo, lettuce, tomato and a toasted bun so much, it was announced that it would be offered as a full-time menu option in 1996.

5,000th Wendy’s Restaurant Opens

The 5,000th Wendy’s restaurant opened in Columbus, Ohio as a Wendy’s/Tim Hortons combination unit.

U.S. Postage Stamp Celebrates Adoption

The U.S. Postal Service released a stamp to celebrate the joys of adoption, to raise awareness about the cause, and to thank those who had opened their homes to adopt children in foster care. Wendy’s founder, Dave Thomas, was a participant in the official stamp dedication ceremony.

Animal Welfare Council

In 2001, Wendy’s established an auditing program to monitor, verify and evaluate proper animal handling among our U.S. and Canadian suppliers. This effort was based on extensive research conducted by experts in animal behavior science.

6,000th Wendy’s Restaurant Opens

Wendy’s took another step towards international growth when it opened the 6,000th restaurant in Tijuana, Mexico. The two-story restaurant was built to hold 224 customers.

Founder Dave Thomas Passes Away

At the age of 69, Wendy’s founder Dave Thomas passed away. Dave developed a passion for the quick service restaurant industry at a young age and devoted much of his life to growing the Wendy’s business and supporting foster care adoption.

Wendy’s Opens Culinary Innovation Center

Wendy’s opened its Culinary Innovation Center at its corporate headquarters, located in Dublin, Ohio. Later named the Brolick Innovation Center after former Wendy’s President & CEO Emil Brolick, the innovation center was built to provide a creative space for culinary ideas to come to life and for customers to participate in research-based taste test panels to support prospective menu items.

Halloween Coupon Books

It’s no trick that Wendy’s started offering their Halloween-themed Frosty ® Coupon Books as a treat in 2003. These coupon books are now called Boo! Books™ and have raised nearly $40 million for the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption.

Wendy’s Wonderful Kids® is Established

Wendy’s Wonderful Kids (WWK) is the signature program of the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption. The DTFA awards grants to adoption agencies to hire adoption professionals, who work every day to make “unadoptable” unacceptable. Since 2004, more than 8,000 children have been placed in loving homes through WWK.

Wendy’s Kids’ Meal® is Introduced

In 2004, Wendy’s rolled out kid-friendly offerings for its youngest customers called Wendy’s Kids’ Meal. At launch and for no extra charge, Mom and Dad could swap out French fries for mandarin oranges and grab some milk for their kiddos instead of a soda. In the later 2000’s, Wendy’s began to show milk and apple slices as the featured beverage and side pairing in its Kids’ Meals.

Combo Choices Announced

The new Wendy’s Combo Choices Menu proved that sides could be more than just French fries, and allowed customers to choose a baked potato, small chili, or one of two side salads instead of French fries.

Tim Hortons Goes Public

Wendy’s completed its initial public offering of Tim Hortons in March 2006, and later completed its spin-off of the Canadian restaurant chain as a separate public company in September 2006.

No More Trans Fat

Trans Fat went out of style in the North American restaurants when Wendy’s switched to a nonhydrogenated cooking oil – with zero grams of trans fat – for French fries and breaded chicken.

Wendy’s adds Vanilla Frosty

Wendy’s upped its game in the dessert department when the company expanded its iconic chocolate Frosty flavor to vanilla. Speaking of upping the game, did you know you can request a pack of pecans to add a savory twist to your Frosty? If that’s not really your thing, feel free to stick to dipping your fries in your Frosty flavor of choice.


Meet Brandon Alster, Co-Founder of Merge Social - Recipes

The beginning of a journey – on November 15, 1969, Dave Thomas opened his very first Wendy’s restaurant in Columbus, Ohio at 257 East Broad Street. In no time, the quick-service chain became known for its square beef patties, made from fresh beef, and iconic Frosty ® desserts.

First Pick-Up Window

Wendy’s introduced the first modern drive through to the world what Dave Thomas coined the “Pick-Up Window”. This innovation was so revolutionary that customers needed instructions on how to talk through the speaker to place an order. Originally called the “drive-in window,” Dave wanted to change the name from something that could attract cruisers and joyriders.

First Canadian Restaurant Opens

Wendy’s brought the beef to Canada when it opened the first international Wendy’s restaurant in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.

Wendy’s Goes Public

Wendy’s had its initial public stock offering on the NASDAQ exchange, issuing one million shares of common stock at $28 per share.

First Wendy’s Commercial Aired

Lights, camera, action! Wendy’s took its advertising to the small screen, making a name as the first quick-service chain with less than 1,000 restaurants to launch a national advertising campaign.

1,000th Wendy’s Restaurant Opens

The 1,000 th Wendy’s restaurant opened in Springfield, Tennessee and broke records for being the company’s 1,000 th restaurant in just 100 months.

Introducing the Salad Bar

Among all the fresh beef, Wendy’s added the salad bar to its menu to diversify the options for those who wanted to go green with their meals. Wendy’s salad bar was a hit in the 70’s and 80’s, but as Wendy’s restaurants became more operationally efficient and customers desired more portable salad offerings, salad bars were phased out in 2006.

2,000th Wendy’s Restaurant Opens

1980 marked the milestone of 2,000 Wendy’s restaurants…and counting.

Wendy’s Joins NYSE

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

Baked Potatoes Added to the Menu

Baked potatoes joined the menu in 1983. The Wendy’s baked potato saw success in the 80’s as the ever-memorable “hot-stuffed” and has stood the test of time as a tried and true favorite for customers seeking a lighter side or as a destination to accompany their chili.

“Where’s the Beef®?” Commercial Aired

Clara Peller became an overnight sensation when she inspected a fluffy hamburger bun that lacked in the beef department and exclaimed, “Where’s the Beef?”. The tagline became so popular that the advertisement led to a 31% boost in Wendy’s annual revenue, and even sparked a merchandise line for fans.

3,000th Wendy’s Restaurant Opens

The French Quarter in New Orleans was the location of this milestone – the 3,000th restaurant. You can guess by now that there’s more to come.

Dave’s First TV Commercial

Dave Thomas starred in his first commercial in 1989, and quickly became a nationwide household name. After the first national campaign, Dave went on to appear in more than 800 commercials through the years.

Super Value Menu Launched

Wendy’s was the first to introduce the concept of a Super Value Menu and it took off with nine items available for 99¢ every day. The menu offerings rotated based on what customers were craving.

Grilled Chicken Sandwich Debuted

Wendy’s nutrition policy was expanding, and so was the menu. The grilled chicken sandwich made its first appearance in 1990 as a lighter, lower calorie offering for customers seeking a non-fried chicken protein option.

Wendy’s Embraces Adoption

In 1990, President George H.W. Bush asked Dave Thomas to serve as spokesperson for the national adoption initiative, “Adoption Works…For Everyone.” Wendy’s embraced adoption as its national charitable cause, and in the years since has committed millions of dollars to raise awareness for children in foster care and foster care adoption.

Fresh-Made Salads To-Go

Salad on the run, anyone? Born from Wendy’s successful and iconic salad bar, Wendy’s turned customers’ attention to new, fresh-made salads they could get to-go: Grilled Chicken, Taco Caesar, Deluxe Garden, and Side Salads were the first salad offerings featured.

Dave Thomas Established the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption®

Our founder, Dave Thomas, was adopted as a child, and created the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption (DTFA) because he believed every child deserves a permanent, loving home. The DTFA is the only public, non-profit charity in the United States that is focused only on foster care adoption.

Wendy’s 3Tour Challenge Debuts

To benefit the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, Wendy’s hosted the 3Tour Challenge – An annual golf tournament that continued through 2013, raising more than 11.6 million in net proceeds in over two decades. The 3Tour Challenge was the only professional golf tournament that professionals from the PGA, LPGA, and Champions Tour went head-to-head for the 3Tour title.

4,000th Wendy’s Restaurant Opens

The 4,000th Wendy’s opened in Bentonville, Arkansas, and was one of 250 Wendy’s restaurants opened in 1992.

Wendy’s Turns 25

Wendy’s celebrated its milestone 25th birthday with the best present ever – all-time record systemwide sales of $4.2 billion in 1994.

Wendy’s High School Heisman® Program Kicks Off

In 1993, Dave Thomas received his high school equivalency certificate and shared with 2,500 graduating seniors that he felt his biggest mistake was not finishing high school. Created to honor those who value education, and in partnership with the Heisman Trophy Trust ® , Wendy’s established the Wendy’s High School Heisman program to celebrate high-school senior athletes who went above and beyond in learning, performing, and leading on and off the field. Twenty-five years and hundreds of thousands of exceptional high school scholar-athletes later, the program honored its final class of students in December 2018.

Wendy’s Acquires Tim Hortons®

Would you like a side of donuts with your hamburger? In December 1995, Wendy’s completed its acquisition of Tim Hortons, a Canadian restaurant chain that features coffee and fresh baked goods.

Spicy Chicken Sandwich Launch

In 1995, Wendy’s was the first major fast food restaurant chain to introduce a spicy chicken sandwich to its menu. Fans loved the spicy kick of the chicken complimented by mayo, lettuce, tomato and a toasted bun so much, it was announced that it would be offered as a full-time menu option in 1996.

5,000th Wendy’s Restaurant Opens

The 5,000th Wendy’s restaurant opened in Columbus, Ohio as a Wendy’s/Tim Hortons combination unit.

U.S. Postage Stamp Celebrates Adoption

The U.S. Postal Service released a stamp to celebrate the joys of adoption, to raise awareness about the cause, and to thank those who had opened their homes to adopt children in foster care. Wendy’s founder, Dave Thomas, was a participant in the official stamp dedication ceremony.

Animal Welfare Council

In 2001, Wendy’s established an auditing program to monitor, verify and evaluate proper animal handling among our U.S. and Canadian suppliers. This effort was based on extensive research conducted by experts in animal behavior science.

6,000th Wendy’s Restaurant Opens

Wendy’s took another step towards international growth when it opened the 6,000th restaurant in Tijuana, Mexico. The two-story restaurant was built to hold 224 customers.

Founder Dave Thomas Passes Away

At the age of 69, Wendy’s founder Dave Thomas passed away. Dave developed a passion for the quick service restaurant industry at a young age and devoted much of his life to growing the Wendy’s business and supporting foster care adoption.

Wendy’s Opens Culinary Innovation Center

Wendy’s opened its Culinary Innovation Center at its corporate headquarters, located in Dublin, Ohio. Later named the Brolick Innovation Center after former Wendy’s President & CEO Emil Brolick, the innovation center was built to provide a creative space for culinary ideas to come to life and for customers to participate in research-based taste test panels to support prospective menu items.

Halloween Coupon Books

It’s no trick that Wendy’s started offering their Halloween-themed Frosty ® Coupon Books as a treat in 2003. These coupon books are now called Boo! Books™ and have raised nearly $40 million for the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption.

Wendy’s Wonderful Kids® is Established

Wendy’s Wonderful Kids (WWK) is the signature program of the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption. The DTFA awards grants to adoption agencies to hire adoption professionals, who work every day to make “unadoptable” unacceptable. Since 2004, more than 8,000 children have been placed in loving homes through WWK.

Wendy’s Kids’ Meal® is Introduced

In 2004, Wendy’s rolled out kid-friendly offerings for its youngest customers called Wendy’s Kids’ Meal. At launch and for no extra charge, Mom and Dad could swap out French fries for mandarin oranges and grab some milk for their kiddos instead of a soda. In the later 2000’s, Wendy’s began to show milk and apple slices as the featured beverage and side pairing in its Kids’ Meals.

Combo Choices Announced

The new Wendy’s Combo Choices Menu proved that sides could be more than just French fries, and allowed customers to choose a baked potato, small chili, or one of two side salads instead of French fries.

Tim Hortons Goes Public

Wendy’s completed its initial public offering of Tim Hortons in March 2006, and later completed its spin-off of the Canadian restaurant chain as a separate public company in September 2006.

No More Trans Fat

Trans Fat went out of style in the North American restaurants when Wendy’s switched to a nonhydrogenated cooking oil – with zero grams of trans fat – for French fries and breaded chicken.

Wendy’s adds Vanilla Frosty

Wendy’s upped its game in the dessert department when the company expanded its iconic chocolate Frosty flavor to vanilla. Speaking of upping the game, did you know you can request a pack of pecans to add a savory twist to your Frosty? If that’s not really your thing, feel free to stick to dipping your fries in your Frosty flavor of choice.


Meet Brandon Alster, Co-Founder of Merge Social - Recipes

The beginning of a journey – on November 15, 1969, Dave Thomas opened his very first Wendy’s restaurant in Columbus, Ohio at 257 East Broad Street. In no time, the quick-service chain became known for its square beef patties, made from fresh beef, and iconic Frosty ® desserts.

First Pick-Up Window

Wendy’s introduced the first modern drive through to the world what Dave Thomas coined the “Pick-Up Window”. This innovation was so revolutionary that customers needed instructions on how to talk through the speaker to place an order. Originally called the “drive-in window,” Dave wanted to change the name from something that could attract cruisers and joyriders.

First Canadian Restaurant Opens

Wendy’s brought the beef to Canada when it opened the first international Wendy’s restaurant in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.

Wendy’s Goes Public

Wendy’s had its initial public stock offering on the NASDAQ exchange, issuing one million shares of common stock at $28 per share.

First Wendy’s Commercial Aired

Lights, camera, action! Wendy’s took its advertising to the small screen, making a name as the first quick-service chain with less than 1,000 restaurants to launch a national advertising campaign.

1,000th Wendy’s Restaurant Opens

The 1,000 th Wendy’s restaurant opened in Springfield, Tennessee and broke records for being the company’s 1,000 th restaurant in just 100 months.

Introducing the Salad Bar

Among all the fresh beef, Wendy’s added the salad bar to its menu to diversify the options for those who wanted to go green with their meals. Wendy’s salad bar was a hit in the 70’s and 80’s, but as Wendy’s restaurants became more operationally efficient and customers desired more portable salad offerings, salad bars were phased out in 2006.

2,000th Wendy’s Restaurant Opens

1980 marked the milestone of 2,000 Wendy’s restaurants…and counting.

Wendy’s Joins NYSE

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

Baked Potatoes Added to the Menu

Baked potatoes joined the menu in 1983. The Wendy’s baked potato saw success in the 80’s as the ever-memorable “hot-stuffed” and has stood the test of time as a tried and true favorite for customers seeking a lighter side or as a destination to accompany their chili.

“Where’s the Beef®?” Commercial Aired

Clara Peller became an overnight sensation when she inspected a fluffy hamburger bun that lacked in the beef department and exclaimed, “Where’s the Beef?”. The tagline became so popular that the advertisement led to a 31% boost in Wendy’s annual revenue, and even sparked a merchandise line for fans.

3,000th Wendy’s Restaurant Opens

The French Quarter in New Orleans was the location of this milestone – the 3,000th restaurant. You can guess by now that there’s more to come.

Dave’s First TV Commercial

Dave Thomas starred in his first commercial in 1989, and quickly became a nationwide household name. After the first national campaign, Dave went on to appear in more than 800 commercials through the years.

Super Value Menu Launched

Wendy’s was the first to introduce the concept of a Super Value Menu and it took off with nine items available for 99¢ every day. The menu offerings rotated based on what customers were craving.

Grilled Chicken Sandwich Debuted

Wendy’s nutrition policy was expanding, and so was the menu. The grilled chicken sandwich made its first appearance in 1990 as a lighter, lower calorie offering for customers seeking a non-fried chicken protein option.

Wendy’s Embraces Adoption

In 1990, President George H.W. Bush asked Dave Thomas to serve as spokesperson for the national adoption initiative, “Adoption Works…For Everyone.” Wendy’s embraced adoption as its national charitable cause, and in the years since has committed millions of dollars to raise awareness for children in foster care and foster care adoption.

Fresh-Made Salads To-Go

Salad on the run, anyone? Born from Wendy’s successful and iconic salad bar, Wendy’s turned customers’ attention to new, fresh-made salads they could get to-go: Grilled Chicken, Taco Caesar, Deluxe Garden, and Side Salads were the first salad offerings featured.

Dave Thomas Established the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption®

Our founder, Dave Thomas, was adopted as a child, and created the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption (DTFA) because he believed every child deserves a permanent, loving home. The DTFA is the only public, non-profit charity in the United States that is focused only on foster care adoption.

Wendy’s 3Tour Challenge Debuts

To benefit the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, Wendy’s hosted the 3Tour Challenge – An annual golf tournament that continued through 2013, raising more than 11.6 million in net proceeds in over two decades. The 3Tour Challenge was the only professional golf tournament that professionals from the PGA, LPGA, and Champions Tour went head-to-head for the 3Tour title.

4,000th Wendy’s Restaurant Opens

The 4,000th Wendy’s opened in Bentonville, Arkansas, and was one of 250 Wendy’s restaurants opened in 1992.

Wendy’s Turns 25

Wendy’s celebrated its milestone 25th birthday with the best present ever – all-time record systemwide sales of $4.2 billion in 1994.

Wendy’s High School Heisman® Program Kicks Off

In 1993, Dave Thomas received his high school equivalency certificate and shared with 2,500 graduating seniors that he felt his biggest mistake was not finishing high school. Created to honor those who value education, and in partnership with the Heisman Trophy Trust ® , Wendy’s established the Wendy’s High School Heisman program to celebrate high-school senior athletes who went above and beyond in learning, performing, and leading on and off the field. Twenty-five years and hundreds of thousands of exceptional high school scholar-athletes later, the program honored its final class of students in December 2018.

Wendy’s Acquires Tim Hortons®

Would you like a side of donuts with your hamburger? In December 1995, Wendy’s completed its acquisition of Tim Hortons, a Canadian restaurant chain that features coffee and fresh baked goods.

Spicy Chicken Sandwich Launch

In 1995, Wendy’s was the first major fast food restaurant chain to introduce a spicy chicken sandwich to its menu. Fans loved the spicy kick of the chicken complimented by mayo, lettuce, tomato and a toasted bun so much, it was announced that it would be offered as a full-time menu option in 1996.

5,000th Wendy’s Restaurant Opens

The 5,000th Wendy’s restaurant opened in Columbus, Ohio as a Wendy’s/Tim Hortons combination unit.

U.S. Postage Stamp Celebrates Adoption

The U.S. Postal Service released a stamp to celebrate the joys of adoption, to raise awareness about the cause, and to thank those who had opened their homes to adopt children in foster care. Wendy’s founder, Dave Thomas, was a participant in the official stamp dedication ceremony.

Animal Welfare Council

In 2001, Wendy’s established an auditing program to monitor, verify and evaluate proper animal handling among our U.S. and Canadian suppliers. This effort was based on extensive research conducted by experts in animal behavior science.

6,000th Wendy’s Restaurant Opens

Wendy’s took another step towards international growth when it opened the 6,000th restaurant in Tijuana, Mexico. The two-story restaurant was built to hold 224 customers.

Founder Dave Thomas Passes Away

At the age of 69, Wendy’s founder Dave Thomas passed away. Dave developed a passion for the quick service restaurant industry at a young age and devoted much of his life to growing the Wendy’s business and supporting foster care adoption.

Wendy’s Opens Culinary Innovation Center

Wendy’s opened its Culinary Innovation Center at its corporate headquarters, located in Dublin, Ohio. Later named the Brolick Innovation Center after former Wendy’s President & CEO Emil Brolick, the innovation center was built to provide a creative space for culinary ideas to come to life and for customers to participate in research-based taste test panels to support prospective menu items.

Halloween Coupon Books

It’s no trick that Wendy’s started offering their Halloween-themed Frosty ® Coupon Books as a treat in 2003. These coupon books are now called Boo! Books™ and have raised nearly $40 million for the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption.

Wendy’s Wonderful Kids® is Established

Wendy’s Wonderful Kids (WWK) is the signature program of the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption. The DTFA awards grants to adoption agencies to hire adoption professionals, who work every day to make “unadoptable” unacceptable. Since 2004, more than 8,000 children have been placed in loving homes through WWK.

Wendy’s Kids’ Meal® is Introduced

In 2004, Wendy’s rolled out kid-friendly offerings for its youngest customers called Wendy’s Kids’ Meal. At launch and for no extra charge, Mom and Dad could swap out French fries for mandarin oranges and grab some milk for their kiddos instead of a soda. In the later 2000’s, Wendy’s began to show milk and apple slices as the featured beverage and side pairing in its Kids’ Meals.

Combo Choices Announced

The new Wendy’s Combo Choices Menu proved that sides could be more than just French fries, and allowed customers to choose a baked potato, small chili, or one of two side salads instead of French fries.

Tim Hortons Goes Public

Wendy’s completed its initial public offering of Tim Hortons in March 2006, and later completed its spin-off of the Canadian restaurant chain as a separate public company in September 2006.

No More Trans Fat

Trans Fat went out of style in the North American restaurants when Wendy’s switched to a nonhydrogenated cooking oil – with zero grams of trans fat – for French fries and breaded chicken.

Wendy’s adds Vanilla Frosty

Wendy’s upped its game in the dessert department when the company expanded its iconic chocolate Frosty flavor to vanilla. Speaking of upping the game, did you know you can request a pack of pecans to add a savory twist to your Frosty? If that’s not really your thing, feel free to stick to dipping your fries in your Frosty flavor of choice.


Meet Brandon Alster, Co-Founder of Merge Social - Recipes

The beginning of a journey – on November 15, 1969, Dave Thomas opened his very first Wendy’s restaurant in Columbus, Ohio at 257 East Broad Street. In no time, the quick-service chain became known for its square beef patties, made from fresh beef, and iconic Frosty ® desserts.

First Pick-Up Window

Wendy’s introduced the first modern drive through to the world what Dave Thomas coined the “Pick-Up Window”. This innovation was so revolutionary that customers needed instructions on how to talk through the speaker to place an order. Originally called the “drive-in window,” Dave wanted to change the name from something that could attract cruisers and joyriders.

First Canadian Restaurant Opens

Wendy’s brought the beef to Canada when it opened the first international Wendy’s restaurant in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.

Wendy’s Goes Public

Wendy’s had its initial public stock offering on the NASDAQ exchange, issuing one million shares of common stock at $28 per share.

First Wendy’s Commercial Aired

Lights, camera, action! Wendy’s took its advertising to the small screen, making a name as the first quick-service chain with less than 1,000 restaurants to launch a national advertising campaign.

1,000th Wendy’s Restaurant Opens

The 1,000 th Wendy’s restaurant opened in Springfield, Tennessee and broke records for being the company’s 1,000 th restaurant in just 100 months.

Introducing the Salad Bar

Among all the fresh beef, Wendy’s added the salad bar to its menu to diversify the options for those who wanted to go green with their meals. Wendy’s salad bar was a hit in the 70’s and 80’s, but as Wendy’s restaurants became more operationally efficient and customers desired more portable salad offerings, salad bars were phased out in 2006.

2,000th Wendy’s Restaurant Opens

1980 marked the milestone of 2,000 Wendy’s restaurants…and counting.

Wendy’s Joins NYSE

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

Baked Potatoes Added to the Menu

Baked potatoes joined the menu in 1983. The Wendy’s baked potato saw success in the 80’s as the ever-memorable “hot-stuffed” and has stood the test of time as a tried and true favorite for customers seeking a lighter side or as a destination to accompany their chili.

“Where’s the Beef®?” Commercial Aired

Clara Peller became an overnight sensation when she inspected a fluffy hamburger bun that lacked in the beef department and exclaimed, “Where’s the Beef?”. The tagline became so popular that the advertisement led to a 31% boost in Wendy’s annual revenue, and even sparked a merchandise line for fans.

3,000th Wendy’s Restaurant Opens

The French Quarter in New Orleans was the location of this milestone – the 3,000th restaurant. You can guess by now that there’s more to come.

Dave’s First TV Commercial

Dave Thomas starred in his first commercial in 1989, and quickly became a nationwide household name. After the first national campaign, Dave went on to appear in more than 800 commercials through the years.

Super Value Menu Launched

Wendy’s was the first to introduce the concept of a Super Value Menu and it took off with nine items available for 99¢ every day. The menu offerings rotated based on what customers were craving.

Grilled Chicken Sandwich Debuted

Wendy’s nutrition policy was expanding, and so was the menu. The grilled chicken sandwich made its first appearance in 1990 as a lighter, lower calorie offering for customers seeking a non-fried chicken protein option.

Wendy’s Embraces Adoption

In 1990, President George H.W. Bush asked Dave Thomas to serve as spokesperson for the national adoption initiative, “Adoption Works…For Everyone.” Wendy’s embraced adoption as its national charitable cause, and in the years since has committed millions of dollars to raise awareness for children in foster care and foster care adoption.

Fresh-Made Salads To-Go

Salad on the run, anyone? Born from Wendy’s successful and iconic salad bar, Wendy’s turned customers’ attention to new, fresh-made salads they could get to-go: Grilled Chicken, Taco Caesar, Deluxe Garden, and Side Salads were the first salad offerings featured.

Dave Thomas Established the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption®

Our founder, Dave Thomas, was adopted as a child, and created the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption (DTFA) because he believed every child deserves a permanent, loving home. The DTFA is the only public, non-profit charity in the United States that is focused only on foster care adoption.

Wendy’s 3Tour Challenge Debuts

To benefit the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, Wendy’s hosted the 3Tour Challenge – An annual golf tournament that continued through 2013, raising more than 11.6 million in net proceeds in over two decades. The 3Tour Challenge was the only professional golf tournament that professionals from the PGA, LPGA, and Champions Tour went head-to-head for the 3Tour title.

4,000th Wendy’s Restaurant Opens

The 4,000th Wendy’s opened in Bentonville, Arkansas, and was one of 250 Wendy’s restaurants opened in 1992.

Wendy’s Turns 25

Wendy’s celebrated its milestone 25th birthday with the best present ever – all-time record systemwide sales of $4.2 billion in 1994.

Wendy’s High School Heisman® Program Kicks Off

In 1993, Dave Thomas received his high school equivalency certificate and shared with 2,500 graduating seniors that he felt his biggest mistake was not finishing high school. Created to honor those who value education, and in partnership with the Heisman Trophy Trust ® , Wendy’s established the Wendy’s High School Heisman program to celebrate high-school senior athletes who went above and beyond in learning, performing, and leading on and off the field. Twenty-five years and hundreds of thousands of exceptional high school scholar-athletes later, the program honored its final class of students in December 2018.

Wendy’s Acquires Tim Hortons®

Would you like a side of donuts with your hamburger? In December 1995, Wendy’s completed its acquisition of Tim Hortons, a Canadian restaurant chain that features coffee and fresh baked goods.

Spicy Chicken Sandwich Launch

In 1995, Wendy’s was the first major fast food restaurant chain to introduce a spicy chicken sandwich to its menu. Fans loved the spicy kick of the chicken complimented by mayo, lettuce, tomato and a toasted bun so much, it was announced that it would be offered as a full-time menu option in 1996.

5,000th Wendy’s Restaurant Opens

The 5,000th Wendy’s restaurant opened in Columbus, Ohio as a Wendy’s/Tim Hortons combination unit.

U.S. Postage Stamp Celebrates Adoption

The U.S. Postal Service released a stamp to celebrate the joys of adoption, to raise awareness about the cause, and to thank those who had opened their homes to adopt children in foster care. Wendy’s founder, Dave Thomas, was a participant in the official stamp dedication ceremony.

Animal Welfare Council

In 2001, Wendy’s established an auditing program to monitor, verify and evaluate proper animal handling among our U.S. and Canadian suppliers. This effort was based on extensive research conducted by experts in animal behavior science.

6,000th Wendy’s Restaurant Opens

Wendy’s took another step towards international growth when it opened the 6,000th restaurant in Tijuana, Mexico. The two-story restaurant was built to hold 224 customers.

Founder Dave Thomas Passes Away

At the age of 69, Wendy’s founder Dave Thomas passed away. Dave developed a passion for the quick service restaurant industry at a young age and devoted much of his life to growing the Wendy’s business and supporting foster care adoption.

Wendy’s Opens Culinary Innovation Center

Wendy’s opened its Culinary Innovation Center at its corporate headquarters, located in Dublin, Ohio. Later named the Brolick Innovation Center after former Wendy’s President & CEO Emil Brolick, the innovation center was built to provide a creative space for culinary ideas to come to life and for customers to participate in research-based taste test panels to support prospective menu items.

Halloween Coupon Books

It’s no trick that Wendy’s started offering their Halloween-themed Frosty ® Coupon Books as a treat in 2003. These coupon books are now called Boo! Books™ and have raised nearly $40 million for the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption.

Wendy’s Wonderful Kids® is Established

Wendy’s Wonderful Kids (WWK) is the signature program of the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption. The DTFA awards grants to adoption agencies to hire adoption professionals, who work every day to make “unadoptable” unacceptable. Since 2004, more than 8,000 children have been placed in loving homes through WWK.

Wendy’s Kids’ Meal® is Introduced

In 2004, Wendy’s rolled out kid-friendly offerings for its youngest customers called Wendy’s Kids’ Meal. At launch and for no extra charge, Mom and Dad could swap out French fries for mandarin oranges and grab some milk for their kiddos instead of a soda. In the later 2000’s, Wendy’s began to show milk and apple slices as the featured beverage and side pairing in its Kids’ Meals.

Combo Choices Announced

The new Wendy’s Combo Choices Menu proved that sides could be more than just French fries, and allowed customers to choose a baked potato, small chili, or one of two side salads instead of French fries.

Tim Hortons Goes Public

Wendy’s completed its initial public offering of Tim Hortons in March 2006, and later completed its spin-off of the Canadian restaurant chain as a separate public company in September 2006.

No More Trans Fat

Trans Fat went out of style in the North American restaurants when Wendy’s switched to a nonhydrogenated cooking oil – with zero grams of trans fat – for French fries and breaded chicken.

Wendy’s adds Vanilla Frosty

Wendy’s upped its game in the dessert department when the company expanded its iconic chocolate Frosty flavor to vanilla. Speaking of upping the game, did you know you can request a pack of pecans to add a savory twist to your Frosty? If that’s not really your thing, feel free to stick to dipping your fries in your Frosty flavor of choice.


Meet Brandon Alster, Co-Founder of Merge Social - Recipes

The beginning of a journey – on November 15, 1969, Dave Thomas opened his very first Wendy’s restaurant in Columbus, Ohio at 257 East Broad Street. In no time, the quick-service chain became known for its square beef patties, made from fresh beef, and iconic Frosty ® desserts.

First Pick-Up Window

Wendy’s introduced the first modern drive through to the world what Dave Thomas coined the “Pick-Up Window”. This innovation was so revolutionary that customers needed instructions on how to talk through the speaker to place an order. Originally called the “drive-in window,” Dave wanted to change the name from something that could attract cruisers and joyriders.

First Canadian Restaurant Opens

Wendy’s brought the beef to Canada when it opened the first international Wendy’s restaurant in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.

Wendy’s Goes Public

Wendy’s had its initial public stock offering on the NASDAQ exchange, issuing one million shares of common stock at $28 per share.

First Wendy’s Commercial Aired

Lights, camera, action! Wendy’s took its advertising to the small screen, making a name as the first quick-service chain with less than 1,000 restaurants to launch a national advertising campaign.

1,000th Wendy’s Restaurant Opens

The 1,000 th Wendy’s restaurant opened in Springfield, Tennessee and broke records for being the company’s 1,000 th restaurant in just 100 months.

Introducing the Salad Bar

Among all the fresh beef, Wendy’s added the salad bar to its menu to diversify the options for those who wanted to go green with their meals. Wendy’s salad bar was a hit in the 70’s and 80’s, but as Wendy’s restaurants became more operationally efficient and customers desired more portable salad offerings, salad bars were phased out in 2006.

2,000th Wendy’s Restaurant Opens

1980 marked the milestone of 2,000 Wendy’s restaurants…and counting.

Wendy’s Joins NYSE

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

Baked Potatoes Added to the Menu

Baked potatoes joined the menu in 1983. The Wendy’s baked potato saw success in the 80’s as the ever-memorable “hot-stuffed” and has stood the test of time as a tried and true favorite for customers seeking a lighter side or as a destination to accompany their chili.

“Where’s the Beef®?” Commercial Aired

Clara Peller became an overnight sensation when she inspected a fluffy hamburger bun that lacked in the beef department and exclaimed, “Where’s the Beef?”. The tagline became so popular that the advertisement led to a 31% boost in Wendy’s annual revenue, and even sparked a merchandise line for fans.

3,000th Wendy’s Restaurant Opens

The French Quarter in New Orleans was the location of this milestone – the 3,000th restaurant. You can guess by now that there’s more to come.

Dave’s First TV Commercial

Dave Thomas starred in his first commercial in 1989, and quickly became a nationwide household name. After the first national campaign, Dave went on to appear in more than 800 commercials through the years.

Super Value Menu Launched

Wendy’s was the first to introduce the concept of a Super Value Menu and it took off with nine items available for 99¢ every day. The menu offerings rotated based on what customers were craving.

Grilled Chicken Sandwich Debuted

Wendy’s nutrition policy was expanding, and so was the menu. The grilled chicken sandwich made its first appearance in 1990 as a lighter, lower calorie offering for customers seeking a non-fried chicken protein option.

Wendy’s Embraces Adoption

In 1990, President George H.W. Bush asked Dave Thomas to serve as spokesperson for the national adoption initiative, “Adoption Works…For Everyone.” Wendy’s embraced adoption as its national charitable cause, and in the years since has committed millions of dollars to raise awareness for children in foster care and foster care adoption.

Fresh-Made Salads To-Go

Salad on the run, anyone? Born from Wendy’s successful and iconic salad bar, Wendy’s turned customers’ attention to new, fresh-made salads they could get to-go: Grilled Chicken, Taco Caesar, Deluxe Garden, and Side Salads were the first salad offerings featured.

Dave Thomas Established the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption®

Our founder, Dave Thomas, was adopted as a child, and created the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption (DTFA) because he believed every child deserves a permanent, loving home. The DTFA is the only public, non-profit charity in the United States that is focused only on foster care adoption.

Wendy’s 3Tour Challenge Debuts

To benefit the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, Wendy’s hosted the 3Tour Challenge – An annual golf tournament that continued through 2013, raising more than 11.6 million in net proceeds in over two decades. The 3Tour Challenge was the only professional golf tournament that professionals from the PGA, LPGA, and Champions Tour went head-to-head for the 3Tour title.

4,000th Wendy’s Restaurant Opens

The 4,000th Wendy’s opened in Bentonville, Arkansas, and was one of 250 Wendy’s restaurants opened in 1992.

Wendy’s Turns 25

Wendy’s celebrated its milestone 25th birthday with the best present ever – all-time record systemwide sales of $4.2 billion in 1994.

Wendy’s High School Heisman® Program Kicks Off

In 1993, Dave Thomas received his high school equivalency certificate and shared with 2,500 graduating seniors that he felt his biggest mistake was not finishing high school. Created to honor those who value education, and in partnership with the Heisman Trophy Trust ® , Wendy’s established the Wendy’s High School Heisman program to celebrate high-school senior athletes who went above and beyond in learning, performing, and leading on and off the field. Twenty-five years and hundreds of thousands of exceptional high school scholar-athletes later, the program honored its final class of students in December 2018.

Wendy’s Acquires Tim Hortons®

Would you like a side of donuts with your hamburger? In December 1995, Wendy’s completed its acquisition of Tim Hortons, a Canadian restaurant chain that features coffee and fresh baked goods.

Spicy Chicken Sandwich Launch

In 1995, Wendy’s was the first major fast food restaurant chain to introduce a spicy chicken sandwich to its menu. Fans loved the spicy kick of the chicken complimented by mayo, lettuce, tomato and a toasted bun so much, it was announced that it would be offered as a full-time menu option in 1996.

5,000th Wendy’s Restaurant Opens

The 5,000th Wendy’s restaurant opened in Columbus, Ohio as a Wendy’s/Tim Hortons combination unit.

U.S. Postage Stamp Celebrates Adoption

The U.S. Postal Service released a stamp to celebrate the joys of adoption, to raise awareness about the cause, and to thank those who had opened their homes to adopt children in foster care. Wendy’s founder, Dave Thomas, was a participant in the official stamp dedication ceremony.

Animal Welfare Council

In 2001, Wendy’s established an auditing program to monitor, verify and evaluate proper animal handling among our U.S. and Canadian suppliers. This effort was based on extensive research conducted by experts in animal behavior science.

6,000th Wendy’s Restaurant Opens

Wendy’s took another step towards international growth when it opened the 6,000th restaurant in Tijuana, Mexico. The two-story restaurant was built to hold 224 customers.

Founder Dave Thomas Passes Away

At the age of 69, Wendy’s founder Dave Thomas passed away. Dave developed a passion for the quick service restaurant industry at a young age and devoted much of his life to growing the Wendy’s business and supporting foster care adoption.

Wendy’s Opens Culinary Innovation Center

Wendy’s opened its Culinary Innovation Center at its corporate headquarters, located in Dublin, Ohio. Later named the Brolick Innovation Center after former Wendy’s President & CEO Emil Brolick, the innovation center was built to provide a creative space for culinary ideas to come to life and for customers to participate in research-based taste test panels to support prospective menu items.

Halloween Coupon Books

It’s no trick that Wendy’s started offering their Halloween-themed Frosty ® Coupon Books as a treat in 2003. These coupon books are now called Boo! Books™ and have raised nearly $40 million for the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption.

Wendy’s Wonderful Kids® is Established

Wendy’s Wonderful Kids (WWK) is the signature program of the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption. The DTFA awards grants to adoption agencies to hire adoption professionals, who work every day to make “unadoptable” unacceptable. Since 2004, more than 8,000 children have been placed in loving homes through WWK.

Wendy’s Kids’ Meal® is Introduced

In 2004, Wendy’s rolled out kid-friendly offerings for its youngest customers called Wendy’s Kids’ Meal. At launch and for no extra charge, Mom and Dad could swap out French fries for mandarin oranges and grab some milk for their kiddos instead of a soda. In the later 2000’s, Wendy’s began to show milk and apple slices as the featured beverage and side pairing in its Kids’ Meals.

Combo Choices Announced

The new Wendy’s Combo Choices Menu proved that sides could be more than just French fries, and allowed customers to choose a baked potato, small chili, or one of two side salads instead of French fries.

Tim Hortons Goes Public

Wendy’s completed its initial public offering of Tim Hortons in March 2006, and later completed its spin-off of the Canadian restaurant chain as a separate public company in September 2006.

No More Trans Fat

Trans Fat went out of style in the North American restaurants when Wendy’s switched to a nonhydrogenated cooking oil – with zero grams of trans fat – for French fries and breaded chicken.

Wendy’s adds Vanilla Frosty

Wendy’s upped its game in the dessert department when the company expanded its iconic chocolate Frosty flavor to vanilla. Speaking of upping the game, did you know you can request a pack of pecans to add a savory twist to your Frosty? If that’s not really your thing, feel free to stick to dipping your fries in your Frosty flavor of choice.


Meet Brandon Alster, Co-Founder of Merge Social - Recipes

The beginning of a journey – on November 15, 1969, Dave Thomas opened his very first Wendy’s restaurant in Columbus, Ohio at 257 East Broad Street. In no time, the quick-service chain became known for its square beef patties, made from fresh beef, and iconic Frosty ® desserts.

First Pick-Up Window

Wendy’s introduced the first modern drive through to the world what Dave Thomas coined the “Pick-Up Window”. This innovation was so revolutionary that customers needed instructions on how to talk through the speaker to place an order. Originally called the “drive-in window,” Dave wanted to change the name from something that could attract cruisers and joyriders.

First Canadian Restaurant Opens

Wendy’s brought the beef to Canada when it opened the first international Wendy’s restaurant in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.

Wendy’s Goes Public

Wendy’s had its initial public stock offering on the NASDAQ exchange, issuing one million shares of common stock at $28 per share.

First Wendy’s Commercial Aired

Lights, camera, action! Wendy’s took its advertising to the small screen, making a name as the first quick-service chain with less than 1,000 restaurants to launch a national advertising campaign.

1,000th Wendy’s Restaurant Opens

The 1,000 th Wendy’s restaurant opened in Springfield, Tennessee and broke records for being the company’s 1,000 th restaurant in just 100 months.

Introducing the Salad Bar

Among all the fresh beef, Wendy’s added the salad bar to its menu to diversify the options for those who wanted to go green with their meals. Wendy’s salad bar was a hit in the 70’s and 80’s, but as Wendy’s restaurants became more operationally efficient and customers desired more portable salad offerings, salad bars were phased out in 2006.

2,000th Wendy’s Restaurant Opens

1980 marked the milestone of 2,000 Wendy’s restaurants…and counting.

Wendy’s Joins NYSE

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

Baked Potatoes Added to the Menu

Baked potatoes joined the menu in 1983. The Wendy’s baked potato saw success in the 80’s as the ever-memorable “hot-stuffed” and has stood the test of time as a tried and true favorite for customers seeking a lighter side or as a destination to accompany their chili.

“Where’s the Beef®?” Commercial Aired

Clara Peller became an overnight sensation when she inspected a fluffy hamburger bun that lacked in the beef department and exclaimed, “Where’s the Beef?”. The tagline became so popular that the advertisement led to a 31% boost in Wendy’s annual revenue, and even sparked a merchandise line for fans.

3,000th Wendy’s Restaurant Opens

The French Quarter in New Orleans was the location of this milestone – the 3,000th restaurant. You can guess by now that there’s more to come.

Dave’s First TV Commercial

Dave Thomas starred in his first commercial in 1989, and quickly became a nationwide household name. After the first national campaign, Dave went on to appear in more than 800 commercials through the years.

Super Value Menu Launched

Wendy’s was the first to introduce the concept of a Super Value Menu and it took off with nine items available for 99¢ every day. The menu offerings rotated based on what customers were craving.

Grilled Chicken Sandwich Debuted

Wendy’s nutrition policy was expanding, and so was the menu. The grilled chicken sandwich made its first appearance in 1990 as a lighter, lower calorie offering for customers seeking a non-fried chicken protein option.

Wendy’s Embraces Adoption

In 1990, President George H.W. Bush asked Dave Thomas to serve as spokesperson for the national adoption initiative, “Adoption Works…For Everyone.” Wendy’s embraced adoption as its national charitable cause, and in the years since has committed millions of dollars to raise awareness for children in foster care and foster care adoption.

Fresh-Made Salads To-Go

Salad on the run, anyone? Born from Wendy’s successful and iconic salad bar, Wendy’s turned customers’ attention to new, fresh-made salads they could get to-go: Grilled Chicken, Taco Caesar, Deluxe Garden, and Side Salads were the first salad offerings featured.

Dave Thomas Established the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption®

Our founder, Dave Thomas, was adopted as a child, and created the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption (DTFA) because he believed every child deserves a permanent, loving home. The DTFA is the only public, non-profit charity in the United States that is focused only on foster care adoption.

Wendy’s 3Tour Challenge Debuts

To benefit the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, Wendy’s hosted the 3Tour Challenge – An annual golf tournament that continued through 2013, raising more than 11.6 million in net proceeds in over two decades. The 3Tour Challenge was the only professional golf tournament that professionals from the PGA, LPGA, and Champions Tour went head-to-head for the 3Tour title.

4,000th Wendy’s Restaurant Opens

The 4,000th Wendy’s opened in Bentonville, Arkansas, and was one of 250 Wendy’s restaurants opened in 1992.

Wendy’s Turns 25

Wendy’s celebrated its milestone 25th birthday with the best present ever – all-time record systemwide sales of $4.2 billion in 1994.

Wendy’s High School Heisman® Program Kicks Off

In 1993, Dave Thomas received his high school equivalency certificate and shared with 2,500 graduating seniors that he felt his biggest mistake was not finishing high school. Created to honor those who value education, and in partnership with the Heisman Trophy Trust ® , Wendy’s established the Wendy’s High School Heisman program to celebrate high-school senior athletes who went above and beyond in learning, performing, and leading on and off the field. Twenty-five years and hundreds of thousands of exceptional high school scholar-athletes later, the program honored its final class of students in December 2018.

Wendy’s Acquires Tim Hortons®

Would you like a side of donuts with your hamburger? In December 1995, Wendy’s completed its acquisition of Tim Hortons, a Canadian restaurant chain that features coffee and fresh baked goods.

Spicy Chicken Sandwich Launch

In 1995, Wendy’s was the first major fast food restaurant chain to introduce a spicy chicken sandwich to its menu. Fans loved the spicy kick of the chicken complimented by mayo, lettuce, tomato and a toasted bun so much, it was announced that it would be offered as a full-time menu option in 1996.

5,000th Wendy’s Restaurant Opens

The 5,000th Wendy’s restaurant opened in Columbus, Ohio as a Wendy’s/Tim Hortons combination unit.

U.S. Postage Stamp Celebrates Adoption

The U.S. Postal Service released a stamp to celebrate the joys of adoption, to raise awareness about the cause, and to thank those who had opened their homes to adopt children in foster care. Wendy’s founder, Dave Thomas, was a participant in the official stamp dedication ceremony.

Animal Welfare Council

In 2001, Wendy’s established an auditing program to monitor, verify and evaluate proper animal handling among our U.S. and Canadian suppliers. This effort was based on extensive research conducted by experts in animal behavior science.

6,000th Wendy’s Restaurant Opens

Wendy’s took another step towards international growth when it opened the 6,000th restaurant in Tijuana, Mexico. The two-story restaurant was built to hold 224 customers.

Founder Dave Thomas Passes Away

At the age of 69, Wendy’s founder Dave Thomas passed away. Dave developed a passion for the quick service restaurant industry at a young age and devoted much of his life to growing the Wendy’s business and supporting foster care adoption.

Wendy’s Opens Culinary Innovation Center

Wendy’s opened its Culinary Innovation Center at its corporate headquarters, located in Dublin, Ohio. Later named the Brolick Innovation Center after former Wendy’s President & CEO Emil Brolick, the innovation center was built to provide a creative space for culinary ideas to come to life and for customers to participate in research-based taste test panels to support prospective menu items.

Halloween Coupon Books

It’s no trick that Wendy’s started offering their Halloween-themed Frosty ® Coupon Books as a treat in 2003. These coupon books are now called Boo! Books™ and have raised nearly $40 million for the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption.

Wendy’s Wonderful Kids® is Established

Wendy’s Wonderful Kids (WWK) is the signature program of the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption. The DTFA awards grants to adoption agencies to hire adoption professionals, who work every day to make “unadoptable” unacceptable. Since 2004, more than 8,000 children have been placed in loving homes through WWK.

Wendy’s Kids’ Meal® is Introduced

In 2004, Wendy’s rolled out kid-friendly offerings for its youngest customers called Wendy’s Kids’ Meal. At launch and for no extra charge, Mom and Dad could swap out French fries for mandarin oranges and grab some milk for their kiddos instead of a soda. In the later 2000’s, Wendy’s began to show milk and apple slices as the featured beverage and side pairing in its Kids’ Meals.

Combo Choices Announced

The new Wendy’s Combo Choices Menu proved that sides could be more than just French fries, and allowed customers to choose a baked potato, small chili, or one of two side salads instead of French fries.

Tim Hortons Goes Public

Wendy’s completed its initial public offering of Tim Hortons in March 2006, and later completed its spin-off of the Canadian restaurant chain as a separate public company in September 2006.

No More Trans Fat

Trans Fat went out of style in the North American restaurants when Wendy’s switched to a nonhydrogenated cooking oil – with zero grams of trans fat – for French fries and breaded chicken.

Wendy’s adds Vanilla Frosty

Wendy’s upped its game in the dessert department when the company expanded its iconic chocolate Frosty flavor to vanilla. Speaking of upping the game, did you know you can request a pack of pecans to add a savory twist to your Frosty? If that’s not really your thing, feel free to stick to dipping your fries in your Frosty flavor of choice.


Meet Brandon Alster, Co-Founder of Merge Social - Recipes

The beginning of a journey – on November 15, 1969, Dave Thomas opened his very first Wendy’s restaurant in Columbus, Ohio at 257 East Broad Street. In no time, the quick-service chain became known for its square beef patties, made from fresh beef, and iconic Frosty ® desserts.

First Pick-Up Window

Wendy’s introduced the first modern drive through to the world what Dave Thomas coined the “Pick-Up Window”. This innovation was so revolutionary that customers needed instructions on how to talk through the speaker to place an order. Originally called the “drive-in window,” Dave wanted to change the name from something that could attract cruisers and joyriders.

First Canadian Restaurant Opens

Wendy’s brought the beef to Canada when it opened the first international Wendy’s restaurant in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.

Wendy’s Goes Public

Wendy’s had its initial public stock offering on the NASDAQ exchange, issuing one million shares of common stock at $28 per share.

First Wendy’s Commercial Aired

Lights, camera, action! Wendy’s took its advertising to the small screen, making a name as the first quick-service chain with less than 1,000 restaurants to launch a national advertising campaign.

1,000th Wendy’s Restaurant Opens

The 1,000 th Wendy’s restaurant opened in Springfield, Tennessee and broke records for being the company’s 1,000 th restaurant in just 100 months.

Introducing the Salad Bar

Among all the fresh beef, Wendy’s added the salad bar to its menu to diversify the options for those who wanted to go green with their meals. Wendy’s salad bar was a hit in the 70’s and 80’s, but as Wendy’s restaurants became more operationally efficient and customers desired more portable salad offerings, salad bars were phased out in 2006.

2,000th Wendy’s Restaurant Opens

1980 marked the milestone of 2,000 Wendy’s restaurants…and counting.

Wendy’s Joins NYSE

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

Baked Potatoes Added to the Menu

Baked potatoes joined the menu in 1983. The Wendy’s baked potato saw success in the 80’s as the ever-memorable “hot-stuffed” and has stood the test of time as a tried and true favorite for customers seeking a lighter side or as a destination to accompany their chili.

“Where’s the Beef®?” Commercial Aired

Clara Peller became an overnight sensation when she inspected a fluffy hamburger bun that lacked in the beef department and exclaimed, “Where’s the Beef?”. The tagline became so popular that the advertisement led to a 31% boost in Wendy’s annual revenue, and even sparked a merchandise line for fans.

3,000th Wendy’s Restaurant Opens

The French Quarter in New Orleans was the location of this milestone – the 3,000th restaurant. You can guess by now that there’s more to come.

Dave’s First TV Commercial

Dave Thomas starred in his first commercial in 1989, and quickly became a nationwide household name. After the first national campaign, Dave went on to appear in more than 800 commercials through the years.

Super Value Menu Launched

Wendy’s was the first to introduce the concept of a Super Value Menu and it took off with nine items available for 99¢ every day. The menu offerings rotated based on what customers were craving.

Grilled Chicken Sandwich Debuted

Wendy’s nutrition policy was expanding, and so was the menu. The grilled chicken sandwich made its first appearance in 1990 as a lighter, lower calorie offering for customers seeking a non-fried chicken protein option.

Wendy’s Embraces Adoption

In 1990, President George H.W. Bush asked Dave Thomas to serve as spokesperson for the national adoption initiative, “Adoption Works…For Everyone.” Wendy’s embraced adoption as its national charitable cause, and in the years since has committed millions of dollars to raise awareness for children in foster care and foster care adoption.

Fresh-Made Salads To-Go

Salad on the run, anyone? Born from Wendy’s successful and iconic salad bar, Wendy’s turned customers’ attention to new, fresh-made salads they could get to-go: Grilled Chicken, Taco Caesar, Deluxe Garden, and Side Salads were the first salad offerings featured.

Dave Thomas Established the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption®

Our founder, Dave Thomas, was adopted as a child, and created the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption (DTFA) because he believed every child deserves a permanent, loving home. The DTFA is the only public, non-profit charity in the United States that is focused only on foster care adoption.

Wendy’s 3Tour Challenge Debuts

To benefit the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, Wendy’s hosted the 3Tour Challenge – An annual golf tournament that continued through 2013, raising more than 11.6 million in net proceeds in over two decades. The 3Tour Challenge was the only professional golf tournament that professionals from the PGA, LPGA, and Champions Tour went head-to-head for the 3Tour title.

4,000th Wendy’s Restaurant Opens

The 4,000th Wendy’s opened in Bentonville, Arkansas, and was one of 250 Wendy’s restaurants opened in 1992.

Wendy’s Turns 25

Wendy’s celebrated its milestone 25th birthday with the best present ever – all-time record systemwide sales of $4.2 billion in 1994.

Wendy’s High School Heisman® Program Kicks Off

In 1993, Dave Thomas received his high school equivalency certificate and shared with 2,500 graduating seniors that he felt his biggest mistake was not finishing high school. Created to honor those who value education, and in partnership with the Heisman Trophy Trust ® , Wendy’s established the Wendy’s High School Heisman program to celebrate high-school senior athletes who went above and beyond in learning, performing, and leading on and off the field. Twenty-five years and hundreds of thousands of exceptional high school scholar-athletes later, the program honored its final class of students in December 2018.

Wendy’s Acquires Tim Hortons®

Would you like a side of donuts with your hamburger? In December 1995, Wendy’s completed its acquisition of Tim Hortons, a Canadian restaurant chain that features coffee and fresh baked goods.

Spicy Chicken Sandwich Launch

In 1995, Wendy’s was the first major fast food restaurant chain to introduce a spicy chicken sandwich to its menu. Fans loved the spicy kick of the chicken complimented by mayo, lettuce, tomato and a toasted bun so much, it was announced that it would be offered as a full-time menu option in 1996.

5,000th Wendy’s Restaurant Opens

The 5,000th Wendy’s restaurant opened in Columbus, Ohio as a Wendy’s/Tim Hortons combination unit.

U.S. Postage Stamp Celebrates Adoption

The U.S. Postal Service released a stamp to celebrate the joys of adoption, to raise awareness about the cause, and to thank those who had opened their homes to adopt children in foster care. Wendy’s founder, Dave Thomas, was a participant in the official stamp dedication ceremony.

Animal Welfare Council

In 2001, Wendy’s established an auditing program to monitor, verify and evaluate proper animal handling among our U.S. and Canadian suppliers. This effort was based on extensive research conducted by experts in animal behavior science.

6,000th Wendy’s Restaurant Opens

Wendy’s took another step towards international growth when it opened the 6,000th restaurant in Tijuana, Mexico. The two-story restaurant was built to hold 224 customers.

Founder Dave Thomas Passes Away

At the age of 69, Wendy’s founder Dave Thomas passed away. Dave developed a passion for the quick service restaurant industry at a young age and devoted much of his life to growing the Wendy’s business and supporting foster care adoption.

Wendy’s Opens Culinary Innovation Center

Wendy’s opened its Culinary Innovation Center at its corporate headquarters, located in Dublin, Ohio. Later named the Brolick Innovation Center after former Wendy’s President & CEO Emil Brolick, the innovation center was built to provide a creative space for culinary ideas to come to life and for customers to participate in research-based taste test panels to support prospective menu items.

Halloween Coupon Books

It’s no trick that Wendy’s started offering their Halloween-themed Frosty ® Coupon Books as a treat in 2003. These coupon books are now called Boo! Books™ and have raised nearly $40 million for the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption.

Wendy’s Wonderful Kids® is Established

Wendy’s Wonderful Kids (WWK) is the signature program of the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption. The DTFA awards grants to adoption agencies to hire adoption professionals, who work every day to make “unadoptable” unacceptable. Since 2004, more than 8,000 children have been placed in loving homes through WWK.

Wendy’s Kids’ Meal® is Introduced

In 2004, Wendy’s rolled out kid-friendly offerings for its youngest customers called Wendy’s Kids’ Meal. At launch and for no extra charge, Mom and Dad could swap out French fries for mandarin oranges and grab some milk for their kiddos instead of a soda. In the later 2000’s, Wendy’s began to show milk and apple slices as the featured beverage and side pairing in its Kids’ Meals.

Combo Choices Announced

The new Wendy’s Combo Choices Menu proved that sides could be more than just French fries, and allowed customers to choose a baked potato, small chili, or one of two side salads instead of French fries.

Tim Hortons Goes Public

Wendy’s completed its initial public offering of Tim Hortons in March 2006, and later completed its spin-off of the Canadian restaurant chain as a separate public company in September 2006.

No More Trans Fat

Trans Fat went out of style in the North American restaurants when Wendy’s switched to a nonhydrogenated cooking oil – with zero grams of trans fat – for French fries and breaded chicken.

Wendy’s adds Vanilla Frosty

Wendy’s upped its game in the dessert department when the company expanded its iconic chocolate Frosty flavor to vanilla. Speaking of upping the game, did you know you can request a pack of pecans to add a savory twist to your Frosty? If that’s not really your thing, feel free to stick to dipping your fries in your Frosty flavor of choice.


Meet Brandon Alster, Co-Founder of Merge Social - Recipes

The beginning of a journey – on November 15, 1969, Dave Thomas opened his very first Wendy’s restaurant in Columbus, Ohio at 257 East Broad Street. In no time, the quick-service chain became known for its square beef patties, made from fresh beef, and iconic Frosty ® desserts.

First Pick-Up Window

Wendy’s introduced the first modern drive through to the world what Dave Thomas coined the “Pick-Up Window”. This innovation was so revolutionary that customers needed instructions on how to talk through the speaker to place an order. Originally called the “drive-in window,” Dave wanted to change the name from something that could attract cruisers and joyriders.

First Canadian Restaurant Opens

Wendy’s brought the beef to Canada when it opened the first international Wendy’s restaurant in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.

Wendy’s Goes Public

Wendy’s had its initial public stock offering on the NASDAQ exchange, issuing one million shares of common stock at $28 per share.

First Wendy’s Commercial Aired

Lights, camera, action! Wendy’s took its advertising to the small screen, making a name as the first quick-service chain with less than 1,000 restaurants to launch a national advertising campaign.

1,000th Wendy’s Restaurant Opens

The 1,000 th Wendy’s restaurant opened in Springfield, Tennessee and broke records for being the company’s 1,000 th restaurant in just 100 months.

Introducing the Salad Bar

Among all the fresh beef, Wendy’s added the salad bar to its menu to diversify the options for those who wanted to go green with their meals. Wendy’s salad bar was a hit in the 70’s and 80’s, but as Wendy’s restaurants became more operationally efficient and customers desired more portable salad offerings, salad bars were phased out in 2006.

2,000th Wendy’s Restaurant Opens

1980 marked the milestone of 2,000 Wendy’s restaurants…and counting.

Wendy’s Joins NYSE

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

Baked Potatoes Added to the Menu

Baked potatoes joined the menu in 1983. The Wendy’s baked potato saw success in the 80’s as the ever-memorable “hot-stuffed” and has stood the test of time as a tried and true favorite for customers seeking a lighter side or as a destination to accompany their chili.

“Where’s the Beef®?” Commercial Aired

Clara Peller became an overnight sensation when she inspected a fluffy hamburger bun that lacked in the beef department and exclaimed, “Where’s the Beef?”. The tagline became so popular that the advertisement led to a 31% boost in Wendy’s annual revenue, and even sparked a merchandise line for fans.

3,000th Wendy’s Restaurant Opens

The French Quarter in New Orleans was the location of this milestone – the 3,000th restaurant. You can guess by now that there’s more to come.

Dave’s First TV Commercial

Dave Thomas starred in his first commercial in 1989, and quickly became a nationwide household name. After the first national campaign, Dave went on to appear in more than 800 commercials through the years.

Super Value Menu Launched

Wendy’s was the first to introduce the concept of a Super Value Menu and it took off with nine items available for 99¢ every day. The menu offerings rotated based on what customers were craving.

Grilled Chicken Sandwich Debuted

Wendy’s nutrition policy was expanding, and so was the menu. The grilled chicken sandwich made its first appearance in 1990 as a lighter, lower calorie offering for customers seeking a non-fried chicken protein option.

Wendy’s Embraces Adoption

In 1990, President George H.W. Bush asked Dave Thomas to serve as spokesperson for the national adoption initiative, “Adoption Works…For Everyone.” Wendy’s embraced adoption as its national charitable cause, and in the years since has committed millions of dollars to raise awareness for children in foster care and foster care adoption.

Fresh-Made Salads To-Go

Salad on the run, anyone? Born from Wendy’s successful and iconic salad bar, Wendy’s turned customers’ attention to new, fresh-made salads they could get to-go: Grilled Chicken, Taco Caesar, Deluxe Garden, and Side Salads were the first salad offerings featured.

Dave Thomas Established the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption®

Our founder, Dave Thomas, was adopted as a child, and created the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption (DTFA) because he believed every child deserves a permanent, loving home. The DTFA is the only public, non-profit charity in the United States that is focused only on foster care adoption.

Wendy’s 3Tour Challenge Debuts

To benefit the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, Wendy’s hosted the 3Tour Challenge – An annual golf tournament that continued through 2013, raising more than 11.6 million in net proceeds in over two decades. The 3Tour Challenge was the only professional golf tournament that professionals from the PGA, LPGA, and Champions Tour went head-to-head for the 3Tour title.

4,000th Wendy’s Restaurant Opens

The 4,000th Wendy’s opened in Bentonville, Arkansas, and was one of 250 Wendy’s restaurants opened in 1992.

Wendy’s Turns 25

Wendy’s celebrated its milestone 25th birthday with the best present ever – all-time record systemwide sales of $4.2 billion in 1994.

Wendy’s High School Heisman® Program Kicks Off

In 1993, Dave Thomas received his high school equivalency certificate and shared with 2,500 graduating seniors that he felt his biggest mistake was not finishing high school. Created to honor those who value education, and in partnership with the Heisman Trophy Trust ® , Wendy’s established the Wendy’s High School Heisman program to celebrate high-school senior athletes who went above and beyond in learning, performing, and leading on and off the field. Twenty-five years and hundreds of thousands of exceptional high school scholar-athletes later, the program honored its final class of students in December 2018.

Wendy’s Acquires Tim Hortons®

Would you like a side of donuts with your hamburger? In December 1995, Wendy’s completed its acquisition of Tim Hortons, a Canadian restaurant chain that features coffee and fresh baked goods.

Spicy Chicken Sandwich Launch

In 1995, Wendy’s was the first major fast food restaurant chain to introduce a spicy chicken sandwich to its menu. Fans loved the spicy kick of the chicken complimented by mayo, lettuce, tomato and a toasted bun so much, it was announced that it would be offered as a full-time menu option in 1996.

5,000th Wendy’s Restaurant Opens

The 5,000th Wendy’s restaurant opened in Columbus, Ohio as a Wendy’s/Tim Hortons combination unit.

U.S. Postage Stamp Celebrates Adoption

The U.S. Postal Service released a stamp to celebrate the joys of adoption, to raise awareness about the cause, and to thank those who had opened their homes to adopt children in foster care. Wendy’s founder, Dave Thomas, was a participant in the official stamp dedication ceremony.

Animal Welfare Council

In 2001, Wendy’s established an auditing program to monitor, verify and evaluate proper animal handling among our U.S. and Canadian suppliers. This effort was based on extensive research conducted by experts in animal behavior science.

6,000th Wendy’s Restaurant Opens

Wendy’s took another step towards international growth when it opened the 6,000th restaurant in Tijuana, Mexico. The two-story restaurant was built to hold 224 customers.

Founder Dave Thomas Passes Away

At the age of 69, Wendy’s founder Dave Thomas passed away. Dave developed a passion for the quick service restaurant industry at a young age and devoted much of his life to growing the Wendy’s business and supporting foster care adoption.

Wendy’s Opens Culinary Innovation Center

Wendy’s opened its Culinary Innovation Center at its corporate headquarters, located in Dublin, Ohio. Later named the Brolick Innovation Center after former Wendy’s President & CEO Emil Brolick, the innovation center was built to provide a creative space for culinary ideas to come to life and for customers to participate in research-based taste test panels to support prospective menu items.

Halloween Coupon Books

It’s no trick that Wendy’s started offering their Halloween-themed Frosty ® Coupon Books as a treat in 2003. These coupon books are now called Boo! Books™ and have raised nearly $40 million for the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption.

Wendy’s Wonderful Kids® is Established

Wendy’s Wonderful Kids (WWK) is the signature program of the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption. The DTFA awards grants to adoption agencies to hire adoption professionals, who work every day to make “unadoptable” unacceptable. Since 2004, more than 8,000 children have been placed in loving homes through WWK.

Wendy’s Kids’ Meal® is Introduced

In 2004, Wendy’s rolled out kid-friendly offerings for its youngest customers called Wendy’s Kids’ Meal. At launch and for no extra charge, Mom and Dad could swap out French fries for mandarin oranges and grab some milk for their kiddos instead of a soda. In the later 2000’s, Wendy’s began to show milk and apple slices as the featured beverage and side pairing in its Kids’ Meals.

Combo Choices Announced

The new Wendy’s Combo Choices Menu proved that sides could be more than just French fries, and allowed customers to choose a baked potato, small chili, or one of two side salads instead of French fries.

Tim Hortons Goes Public

Wendy’s completed its initial public offering of Tim Hortons in March 2006, and later completed its spin-off of the Canadian restaurant chain as a separate public company in September 2006.

No More Trans Fat

Trans Fat went out of style in the North American restaurants when Wendy’s switched to a nonhydrogenated cooking oil – with zero grams of trans fat – for French fries and breaded chicken.

Wendy’s adds Vanilla Frosty

Wendy’s upped its game in the dessert department when the company expanded its iconic chocolate Frosty flavor to vanilla. Speaking of upping the game, did you know you can request a pack of pecans to add a savory twist to your Frosty? If that’s not really your thing, feel free to stick to dipping your fries in your Frosty flavor of choice.


Meet Brandon Alster, Co-Founder of Merge Social - Recipes

The beginning of a journey – on November 15, 1969, Dave Thomas opened his very first Wendy’s restaurant in Columbus, Ohio at 257 East Broad Street. In no time, the quick-service chain became known for its square beef patties, made from fresh beef, and iconic Frosty ® desserts.

First Pick-Up Window

Wendy’s introduced the first modern drive through to the world what Dave Thomas coined the “Pick-Up Window”. This innovation was so revolutionary that customers needed instructions on how to talk through the speaker to place an order. Originally called the “drive-in window,” Dave wanted to change the name from something that could attract cruisers and joyriders.

First Canadian Restaurant Opens

Wendy’s brought the beef to Canada when it opened the first international Wendy’s restaurant in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.

Wendy’s Goes Public

Wendy’s had its initial public stock offering on the NASDAQ exchange, issuing one million shares of common stock at $28 per share.

First Wendy’s Commercial Aired

Lights, camera, action! Wendy’s took its advertising to the small screen, making a name as the first quick-service chain with less than 1,000 restaurants to launch a national advertising campaign.

1,000th Wendy’s Restaurant Opens

The 1,000 th Wendy’s restaurant opened in Springfield, Tennessee and broke records for being the company’s 1,000 th restaurant in just 100 months.

Introducing the Salad Bar

Among all the fresh beef, Wendy’s added the salad bar to its menu to diversify the options for those who wanted to go green with their meals. Wendy’s salad bar was a hit in the 70’s and 80’s, but as Wendy’s restaurants became more operationally efficient and customers desired more portable salad offerings, salad bars were phased out in 2006.

2,000th Wendy’s Restaurant Opens

1980 marked the milestone of 2,000 Wendy’s restaurants…and counting.

Wendy’s Joins NYSE

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

Baked Potatoes Added to the Menu

Baked potatoes joined the menu in 1983. The Wendy’s baked potato saw success in the 80’s as the ever-memorable “hot-stuffed” and has stood the test of time as a tried and true favorite for customers seeking a lighter side or as a destination to accompany their chili.

“Where’s the Beef®?” Commercial Aired

Clara Peller became an overnight sensation when she inspected a fluffy hamburger bun that lacked in the beef department and exclaimed, “Where’s the Beef?”. The tagline became so popular that the advertisement led to a 31% boost in Wendy’s annual revenue, and even sparked a merchandise line for fans.

3,000th Wendy’s Restaurant Opens

The French Quarter in New Orleans was the location of this milestone – the 3,000th restaurant. You can guess by now that there’s more to come.

Dave’s First TV Commercial

Dave Thomas starred in his first commercial in 1989, and quickly became a nationwide household name. After the first national campaign, Dave went on to appear in more than 800 commercials through the years.

Super Value Menu Launched

Wendy’s was the first to introduce the concept of a Super Value Menu and it took off with nine items available for 99¢ every day. The menu offerings rotated based on what customers were craving.

Grilled Chicken Sandwich Debuted

Wendy’s nutrition policy was expanding, and so was the menu. The grilled chicken sandwich made its first appearance in 1990 as a lighter, lower calorie offering for customers seeking a non-fried chicken protein option.

Wendy’s Embraces Adoption

In 1990, President George H.W. Bush asked Dave Thomas to serve as spokesperson for the national adoption initiative, “Adoption Works…For Everyone.” Wendy’s embraced adoption as its national charitable cause, and in the years since has committed millions of dollars to raise awareness for children in foster care and foster care adoption.

Fresh-Made Salads To-Go

Salad on the run, anyone? Born from Wendy’s successful and iconic salad bar, Wendy’s turned customers’ attention to new, fresh-made salads they could get to-go: Grilled Chicken, Taco Caesar, Deluxe Garden, and Side Salads were the first salad offerings featured.

Dave Thomas Established the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption®

Our founder, Dave Thomas, was adopted as a child, and created the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption (DTFA) because he believed every child deserves a permanent, loving home. The DTFA is the only public, non-profit charity in the United States that is focused only on foster care adoption.

Wendy’s 3Tour Challenge Debuts

To benefit the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, Wendy’s hosted the 3Tour Challenge – An annual golf tournament that continued through 2013, raising more than 11.6 million in net proceeds in over two decades. The 3Tour Challenge was the only professional golf tournament that professionals from the PGA, LPGA, and Champions Tour went head-to-head for the 3Tour title.

4,000th Wendy’s Restaurant Opens

The 4,000th Wendy’s opened in Bentonville, Arkansas, and was one of 250 Wendy’s restaurants opened in 1992.

Wendy’s Turns 25

Wendy’s celebrated its milestone 25th birthday with the best present ever – all-time record systemwide sales of $4.2 billion in 1994.

Wendy’s High School Heisman® Program Kicks Off

In 1993, Dave Thomas received his high school equivalency certificate and shared with 2,500 graduating seniors that he felt his biggest mistake was not finishing high school. Created to honor those who value education, and in partnership with the Heisman Trophy Trust ® , Wendy’s established the Wendy’s High School Heisman program to celebrate high-school senior athletes who went above and beyond in learning, performing, and leading on and off the field. Twenty-five years and hundreds of thousands of exceptional high school scholar-athletes later, the program honored its final class of students in December 2018.

Wendy’s Acquires Tim Hortons®

Would you like a side of donuts with your hamburger? In December 1995, Wendy’s completed its acquisition of Tim Hortons, a Canadian restaurant chain that features coffee and fresh baked goods.

Spicy Chicken Sandwich Launch

In 1995, Wendy’s was the first major fast food restaurant chain to introduce a spicy chicken sandwich to its menu. Fans loved the spicy kick of the chicken complimented by mayo, lettuce, tomato and a toasted bun so much, it was announced that it would be offered as a full-time menu option in 1996.

5,000th Wendy’s Restaurant Opens

The 5,000th Wendy’s restaurant opened in Columbus, Ohio as a Wendy’s/Tim Hortons combination unit.

U.S. Postage Stamp Celebrates Adoption

The U.S. Postal Service released a stamp to celebrate the joys of adoption, to raise awareness about the cause, and to thank those who had opened their homes to adopt children in foster care. Wendy’s founder, Dave Thomas, was a participant in the official stamp dedication ceremony.

Animal Welfare Council

In 2001, Wendy’s established an auditing program to monitor, verify and evaluate proper animal handling among our U.S. and Canadian suppliers. This effort was based on extensive research conducted by experts in animal behavior science.

6,000th Wendy’s Restaurant Opens

Wendy’s took another step towards international growth when it opened the 6,000th restaurant in Tijuana, Mexico. The two-story restaurant was built to hold 224 customers.

Founder Dave Thomas Passes Away

At the age of 69, Wendy’s founder Dave Thomas passed away. Dave developed a passion for the quick service restaurant industry at a young age and devoted much of his life to growing the Wendy’s business and supporting foster care adoption.

Wendy’s Opens Culinary Innovation Center

Wendy’s opened its Culinary Innovation Center at its corporate headquarters, located in Dublin, Ohio. Later named the Brolick Innovation Center after former Wendy’s President & CEO Emil Brolick, the innovation center was built to provide a creative space for culinary ideas to come to life and for customers to participate in research-based taste test panels to support prospective menu items.

Halloween Coupon Books

It’s no trick that Wendy’s started offering their Halloween-themed Frosty ® Coupon Books as a treat in 2003. These coupon books are now called Boo! Books™ and have raised nearly $40 million for the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption.

Wendy’s Wonderful Kids® is Established

Wendy’s Wonderful Kids (WWK) is the signature program of the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption. The DTFA awards grants to adoption agencies to hire adoption professionals, who work every day to make “unadoptable” unacceptable. Since 2004, more than 8,000 children have been placed in loving homes through WWK.

Wendy’s Kids’ Meal® is Introduced

In 2004, Wendy’s rolled out kid-friendly offerings for its youngest customers called Wendy’s Kids’ Meal. At launch and for no extra charge, Mom and Dad could swap out French fries for mandarin oranges and grab some milk for their kiddos instead of a soda. In the later 2000’s, Wendy’s began to show milk and apple slices as the featured beverage and side pairing in its Kids’ Meals.

Combo Choices Announced

The new Wendy’s Combo Choices Menu proved that sides could be more than just French fries, and allowed customers to choose a baked potato, small chili, or one of two side salads instead of French fries.

Tim Hortons Goes Public

Wendy’s completed its initial public offering of Tim Hortons in March 2006, and later completed its spin-off of the Canadian restaurant chain as a separate public company in September 2006.

No More Trans Fat

Trans Fat went out of style in the North American restaurants when Wendy’s switched to a nonhydrogenated cooking oil – with zero grams of trans fat – for French fries and breaded chicken.

Wendy’s adds Vanilla Frosty

Wendy’s upped its game in the dessert department when the company expanded its iconic chocolate Frosty flavor to vanilla. Speaking of upping the game, did you know you can request a pack of pecans to add a savory twist to your Frosty? If that’s not really your thing, feel free to stick to dipping your fries in your Frosty flavor of choice.


Meet Brandon Alster, Co-Founder of Merge Social - Recipes

The beginning of a journey – on November 15, 1969, Dave Thomas opened his very first Wendy’s restaurant in Columbus, Ohio at 257 East Broad Street. In no time, the quick-service chain became known for its square beef patties, made from fresh beef, and iconic Frosty ® desserts.

First Pick-Up Window

Wendy’s introduced the first modern drive through to the world what Dave Thomas coined the “Pick-Up Window”. This innovation was so revolutionary that customers needed instructions on how to talk through the speaker to place an order. Originally called the “drive-in window,” Dave wanted to change the name from something that could attract cruisers and joyriders.

First Canadian Restaurant Opens

Wendy’s brought the beef to Canada when it opened the first international Wendy’s restaurant in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.

Wendy’s Goes Public

Wendy’s had its initial public stock offering on the NASDAQ exchange, issuing one million shares of common stock at $28 per share.

First Wendy’s Commercial Aired

Lights, camera, action! Wendy’s took its advertising to the small screen, making a name as the first quick-service chain with less than 1,000 restaurants to launch a national advertising campaign.

1,000th Wendy’s Restaurant Opens

The 1,000 th Wendy’s restaurant opened in Springfield, Tennessee and broke records for being the company’s 1,000 th restaurant in just 100 months.

Introducing the Salad Bar

Among all the fresh beef, Wendy’s added the salad bar to its menu to diversify the options for those who wanted to go green with their meals. Wendy’s salad bar was a hit in the 70’s and 80’s, but as Wendy’s restaurants became more operationally efficient and customers desired more portable salad offerings, salad bars were phased out in 2006.

2,000th Wendy’s Restaurant Opens

1980 marked the milestone of 2,000 Wendy’s restaurants…and counting.

Wendy’s Joins NYSE

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

Baked Potatoes Added to the Menu

Baked potatoes joined the menu in 1983. The Wendy’s baked potato saw success in the 80’s as the ever-memorable “hot-stuffed” and has stood the test of time as a tried and true favorite for customers seeking a lighter side or as a destination to accompany their chili.

“Where’s the Beef®?” Commercial Aired

Clara Peller became an overnight sensation when she inspected a fluffy hamburger bun that lacked in the beef department and exclaimed, “Where’s the Beef?”. The tagline became so popular that the advertisement led to a 31% boost in Wendy’s annual revenue, and even sparked a merchandise line for fans.

3,000th Wendy’s Restaurant Opens

The French Quarter in New Orleans was the location of this milestone – the 3,000th restaurant. You can guess by now that there’s more to come.

Dave’s First TV Commercial

Dave Thomas starred in his first commercial in 1989, and quickly became a nationwide household name. After the first national campaign, Dave went on to appear in more than 800 commercials through the years.

Super Value Menu Launched

Wendy’s was the first to introduce the concept of a Super Value Menu and it took off with nine items available for 99¢ every day. The menu offerings rotated based on what customers were craving.

Grilled Chicken Sandwich Debuted

Wendy’s nutrition policy was expanding, and so was the menu. The grilled chicken sandwich made its first appearance in 1990 as a lighter, lower calorie offering for customers seeking a non-fried chicken protein option.

Wendy’s Embraces Adoption

In 1990, President George H.W. Bush asked Dave Thomas to serve as spokesperson for the national adoption initiative, “Adoption Works…For Everyone.” Wendy’s embraced adoption as its national charitable cause, and in the years since has committed millions of dollars to raise awareness for children in foster care and foster care adoption.

Fresh-Made Salads To-Go

Salad on the run, anyone? Born from Wendy’s successful and iconic salad bar, Wendy’s turned customers’ attention to new, fresh-made salads they could get to-go: Grilled Chicken, Taco Caesar, Deluxe Garden, and Side Salads were the first salad offerings featured.

Dave Thomas Established the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption®

Our founder, Dave Thomas, was adopted as a child, and created the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption (DTFA) because he believed every child deserves a permanent, loving home. The DTFA is the only public, non-profit charity in the United States that is focused only on foster care adoption.

Wendy’s 3Tour Challenge Debuts

To benefit the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, Wendy’s hosted the 3Tour Challenge – An annual golf tournament that continued through 2013, raising more than 11.6 million in net proceeds in over two decades. The 3Tour Challenge was the only professional golf tournament that professionals from the PGA, LPGA, and Champions Tour went head-to-head for the 3Tour title.

4,000th Wendy’s Restaurant Opens

The 4,000th Wendy’s opened in Bentonville, Arkansas, and was one of 250 Wendy’s restaurants opened in 1992.

Wendy’s Turns 25

Wendy’s celebrated its milestone 25th birthday with the best present ever – all-time record systemwide sales of $4.2 billion in 1994.

Wendy’s High School Heisman® Program Kicks Off

In 1993, Dave Thomas received his high school equivalency certificate and shared with 2,500 graduating seniors that he felt his biggest mistake was not finishing high school. Created to honor those who value education, and in partnership with the Heisman Trophy Trust ® , Wendy’s established the Wendy’s High School Heisman program to celebrate high-school senior athletes who went above and beyond in learning, performing, and leading on and off the field. Twenty-five years and hundreds of thousands of exceptional high school scholar-athletes later, the program honored its final class of students in December 2018.

Wendy’s Acquires Tim Hortons®

Would you like a side of donuts with your hamburger? In December 1995, Wendy’s completed its acquisition of Tim Hortons, a Canadian restaurant chain that features coffee and fresh baked goods.

Spicy Chicken Sandwich Launch

In 1995, Wendy’s was the first major fast food restaurant chain to introduce a spicy chicken sandwich to its menu. Fans loved the spicy kick of the chicken complimented by mayo, lettuce, tomato and a toasted bun so much, it was announced that it would be offered as a full-time menu option in 1996.

5,000th Wendy’s Restaurant Opens

The 5,000th Wendy’s restaurant opened in Columbus, Ohio as a Wendy’s/Tim Hortons combination unit.

U.S. Postage Stamp Celebrates Adoption

The U.S. Postal Service released a stamp to celebrate the joys of adoption, to raise awareness about the cause, and to thank those who had opened their homes to adopt children in foster care. Wendy’s founder, Dave Thomas, was a participant in the official stamp dedication ceremony.

Animal Welfare Council

In 2001, Wendy’s established an auditing program to monitor, verify and evaluate proper animal handling among our U.S. and Canadian suppliers. This effort was based on extensive research conducted by experts in animal behavior science.

6,000th Wendy’s Restaurant Opens

Wendy’s took another step towards international growth when it opened the 6,000th restaurant in Tijuana, Mexico. The two-story restaurant was built to hold 224 customers.

Founder Dave Thomas Passes Away

At the age of 69, Wendy’s founder Dave Thomas passed away. Dave developed a passion for the quick service restaurant industry at a young age and devoted much of his life to growing the Wendy’s business and supporting foster care adoption.

Wendy’s Opens Culinary Innovation Center

Wendy’s opened its Culinary Innovation Center at its corporate headquarters, located in Dublin, Ohio. Later named the Brolick Innovation Center after former Wendy’s President & CEO Emil Brolick, the innovation center was built to provide a creative space for culinary ideas to come to life and for customers to participate in research-based taste test panels to support prospective menu items.

Halloween Coupon Books

It’s no trick that Wendy’s started offering their Halloween-themed Frosty ® Coupon Books as a treat in 2003. These coupon books are now called Boo! Books™ and have raised nearly $40 million for the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption.

Wendy’s Wonderful Kids® is Established

Wendy’s Wonderful Kids (WWK) is the signature program of the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption. The DTFA awards grants to adoption agencies to hire adoption professionals, who work every day to make “unadoptable” unacceptable. Since 2004, more than 8,000 children have been placed in loving homes through WWK.

Wendy’s Kids’ Meal® is Introduced

In 2004, Wendy’s rolled out kid-friendly offerings for its youngest customers called Wendy’s Kids’ Meal. At launch and for no extra charge, Mom and Dad could swap out French fries for mandarin oranges and grab some milk for their kiddos instead of a soda. In the later 2000’s, Wendy’s began to show milk and apple slices as the featured beverage and side pairing in its Kids’ Meals.

Combo Choices Announced

The new Wendy’s Combo Choices Menu proved that sides could be more than just French fries, and allowed customers to choose a baked potato, small chili, or one of two side salads instead of French fries.

Tim Hortons Goes Public

Wendy’s completed its initial public offering of Tim Hortons in March 2006, and later completed its spin-off of the Canadian restaurant chain as a separate public company in September 2006.

No More Trans Fat

Trans Fat went out of style in the North American restaurants when Wendy’s switched to a nonhydrogenated cooking oil – with zero grams of trans fat – for French fries and breaded chicken.

Wendy’s adds Vanilla Frosty

Wendy’s upped its game in the dessert department when the company expanded its iconic chocolate Frosty flavor to vanilla. Speaking of upping the game, did you know you can request a pack of pecans to add a savory twist to your Frosty? If that’s not really your thing, feel free to stick to dipping your fries in your Frosty flavor of choice.


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