Dave Thomas opened the first Wendy’s Old Fashioned Hamburgers in Columbus, Ohio on November 15, 1969. The restaurant was named after his fourth child, Melinda Lou Thomas (now Morse).
When she was young, Melinda had problems pronouncing the letters L and R, and became known by her nickname, Wendy. Aside from having the restaurant chain named after, a likeness of her as a kid is used by the company for its logo, and she continues to be a spokeswoman for the brand.
Wendy’s nickname was chosen by her dad as it was easy to remember, while her freckles, red hair and buckteeth also made her an obvious choice to be its mascot as Thomas wanted an “all American” face for the restaurant.
She has both appeared in and voice a number of commercials for the company.
Famous for its square burger patties and its “Where’s the Beef?” commercials from the 1980s, there over 6,000 Wendy’s restaurants throughout the world, mostly in North America.
Fun fact: Between 2008 and 2010, Wendy’s and Arby’s were part of the same company.