399394 02: A Wendys sign pays homage to Dave Thomas, the founder of the Columbus, OH based hamburger chain January 9, 2002 in Cincinnati, OH. 69-year-old Thomas died January 8, 2002 due to unknown causes. (Photo by Mike Simons/Getty Images)
Why The Wendy's Founder Regrets The Name
By Cynthia Anaya
When Dave Thomas founded Wendy’s in 1969, he wanted a brand mascot for the restaurant and ended up choosing his daughter Melinda Lou, nicknamed Wendy by the family. The restaurant bore her name and photos of her were the inspiration for the brand’s logo, but Thomas would later regret this decision.
As she moved into her 20s, Wendy Thomas became a Wendy’s franchisee, launching her successful business career and amassing her fortune of around $100 million. Despite this, bearing the name of the restaurant put a lot of pressure on Wendy, and her father later apologized to her for using her likeness.
Even so, Wendy Thomas stated that she proudly feels the weight and responsibility of carrying on her father's dream. "I have to do the right thing, because it's the legacy I have to carry on," she noted on the restaurant’s blog, adding that “For me, Wendy's is my family."