Wendy's is the third largest hamburger chain in the world with 6,560 restaurants in the U.S. and 26 countries and territories.
A subsidiary, Wendy’s International, Inc., is the franchisor of the Wendy’s restaurant system.
At the end of 2012, there were 6,186 restaurants in North America and 374 restaurants outside of North America.
The company was formerly known as Wendy's/Arby's Group but sold the Arby's chain to Roark Capital Group in July 2011. The company changed its name to Wendy's and still has an 18.5% stake in Arby's. The company moved its headquarters back to Dublin, OH in 2012 where it was originally located from Atlanta.
The company reported sales of $2.5 billion in 2012, a 3% increase. North American restaurants saw sales increase 1.6%.
Wendy's plans to develop 25 new Company restaurants in 2013 and 40 new franchise restaurants, plus approximately 60 new international franchise and joint-venture restaurants. The company also plans Five to 10 Company-operated restaurant closures and approximately 90 to 100 franchise restaurant closures in North America, plus approximately 15 to 20 international restaurant closures.
"We are pleased with progress we made in 2012, as our brand transformation accelerated with Image Activation and our 'A Cut Above' brand positioning gained traction with consumers," said President and Chief Executive Officer Emil Brolick. "Our 2012 North America same-store sales growth of 1.6 percent and record-high average annual restaurant sales of $1.48 million are evidence that our growth initiatives are beginning to work. While our fourth-quarter same-store sales were slightly negative, they increased 4.9 percent on a two-year basis as we rolled over the successful introduction of Dave's Hot 'n Juicy!" cheeseburgers a year ago.
The company was founded by Dave Thomas who opened the first Wendy's Old Fashioned Hamburgers restaurant on Nov. 15, 1969 in Columbus, OH. The restaurant was named after one of his daughters. Thomas was already a successful entrepreneur who had owned several KFC restaurants. He focused on providing fresh, made-to-order hamburgers for customers. Thomas appeared in many of the chain's TV commercials before passing away in 2002.
In 2006, Wendy's spun off Tim Horton's - a donut chain with over 2,700 outlets in Canada and 300+ in the U.S. -- in an IPO. It also sold off the Baja Fresh chain for $31 million.
Triarc Companies, owner of the Arby's chain, acquired Wendy's in September 2008 for $2.4 billion in stock. The combined company was renamed Wendy's/Arby's Group.
Wendy's introduced a newly designed cheeseburger in 2011 called Dave's Hot and Juicy Cheesburger with a butter-toasted bun and fresh toppings.
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Updated January 19, 2013