Wendy's has traditionally ranked as the #3 fast food burger chain in the US. However, poor performance from long-time rival Burger King allowed Wendy's to move up into the #2 position in the US for a couple of years in the early 2010s. It was bounced back to third place during 2014. By the end of 2018, the Wendy's system comprised some 6,200 outlets in North America, of which all but around 350 are franchised. Among the group's most prominent franchisees is Melinda Thomas, daughter of group founder Dave Thomas, and whose childhood nickname of Wendy gave the group its name. (She's also depicted in the chain's long-established logo). She and her siblings run around 30 outlets. Wendy's specialises in "old-fashioned" hamburgers (with a highly distinctive square shape "because we don't cut corners") and fries, as well as chicken fillet sandwiches and nuggets, Frosty milkshakes and soft drinks. It was also one of the first fast feeders to present itself as a pioneer in healthy foods with offerings such as salads, and has long positioned itself as being of superior quality to rival chains. It has registered the slogan "Quality Is Our Recipe" as a trademark. Its burgers, for example, are made from fresh and never frozen ground beef. The brand has a comparatively low profile outside the North America, but has begun to spread its wings in recent years, returning to several international territories, almost all in Asia and Latin America. All 530 international outlets are franchised. Wendy's began to diversify its offering in the 1990s, bringing several other quick-service brands under its umbrella, including market-leading Canadian chain Tim Hortons. However, the group struggled to maintain the performance of the core Wendy's business after the death of founder Dave Thomas in 2002. As a result, Hortons was divested at the end of 2006 to allow the group to focus on burgers. Wendy's was acquired in 2008 by Triarc, then parent to the Arby's restaurant chain. Triarc changed its name to Wendy's Arby's Group, but Arby's too was sold during 2011 to allow the group to concentrate on the better-performing Wendy's. Following the deal, a new name was adopted of The Wendy's Company. Todd Penegor is CEO. Global systemwide sales were $10.5bn in 2018, including $10.0bn in North America. Company revenues were $652m, with net income of $460m.
Capsule checked 13th June 2019
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Who are the competitors of Wendy's? Aside from McDonald's and Burger King, Wendy's closest competitors in the burger market are Sonic Drive-In, Dairy Queen, Jack-in-the-Box and Hardee's. See Restaurants Sector for other companies
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Adbrands Daily Update 20th Jun 2019: VMLY&R collected its first post-merger Cannes Lions Grand Prix with a brilliantly imaginative campaign that collected the top prize in the new Social & Influencer category. For long-standing VML client Wendy's the agency crashed mega-popular online game Fortnite with a red-pigtailed character bearing a strong similarity to the famous Wendy's logo. Rather than interact with other characters, though, Fortnite Wendy simply visited all the game's (many) burger restaurant locations and destroyed their meat freezers, all in keeping with Wendy's well-established promise of serving only fresh never frozen burgers. She quickly gained a massive following within the game and on streaming site Twitch, encouraging other players to join in the freezer-smashing rampage.
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