After whining that he could not locate a great burger in Columbus, Ohio, Dave Thomas started his own restaurant on November 15, 1969: Wendy’s, named after Thomas’s 8-year old daughter. Wendy’s immediately caught on, and within less than a decade, had grown into a 1,000-shop franchise. In 1989, Thomas took on the function of television spokesman for the firm using a number of extremely successful advertisements. Thomas’s adoptive mother died when he was just five, and from the age of 10 Thomas had lost two stepmothers too.
Upon returning to Fort Wayne, Thomas found his former chief in the Hobby House eatery, Phil Clauss, possessed a few of the primary franchises of the budding Kentucky Fried Chicken chain. Clauss offered Thomas the chance to move to Columbus, Ohio, to turn across the restaurants, which were neglecting. Colonel Sanders’s trademark chicken had been a big hit for the Hobby House and Thomas believed he could sell it in Ohio. By 1968, a few brief years after, a 35-year old Thomas sold the franchises back to the headquarters for $1.5 million.
After whining that he could not locate a great burger in Columbus, Thomas determined to start his own restaurant. On November 15, 1969, he started the first Wendy’s restaurant, named for his eight-year old daughter, Melinda Lou, known as Wendy. She was the youngest of his five kids along with his wife Lorraine, whom he married in 1956. Known for its square burgers and selection of toppings, Wendy’s immediately caught on and within less than a decade grew right into a franchise of 1,000 shops.
In 1982, Thomas gave up command of day to day operations at Wendy’s. Four years later, after some business blunders had hurt sales for Wendy’s, the organization ‘s new president encouraged Thomas to take a more proactive part in the firm. Thomas started to see franchises and espouse his hardworking, so called “mop-bucket approach.” In 1989, he took on a much more significant part, as the television spokesman for the firm in some fantastically successful advertisements.
With his folksy style and his comfortable pitch because of his eatery’s, Thomas became a household name. After more than 800 commercials, it was clear that Thomas was among the significant reasons behind Wendy’s standing as the number-three hamburger restaurant in the nation (behind McDonald’s and Burger King), with more than 6,000 franchises.
Thomas also worked throughout his life to market the adoption of foster children. He founded the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, which encouraged the development of an employee benefits plan for individuals who embrace, along with several other groundbreaking initiatives. President George Bush named him a national spokesman on adoption problems. Thomas, who constantly regretted not completing high school, hired a coach and passed the G.E.D. high school equivalency examination in 1993. In December 1996, the portly Thomas had quadruple bypass operation. Though he shortly returned to his hectic schedule of creating advertisements, he started experiencing kidney dialysis in early 2001. On January 8, 2002, in the age of 69, Thomas died of liver cancer at his house in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.