Wendy’s Founder Dave Thomas started out helping with franchises at Kentucky Fried Chicken. His ideas really helped grow the company.
Founder of Kentucky Fried Chicken, Col. Harland Sanders, was trying to expand KFC into different areas when he met Dave Thomas. Dave Thomas was a head cook with a restaurant owned by the Clauss family at the time. Col. Sanders was trying to convince the Clauss family, and other successful restaurant owners in Fort Wayne to franchise with KFC.
Dave Thomas came up with some ideas that were essential to KFC as a business. For example, Thomas came up with the crispy chicken bucket. The bucket became a symbol of KFC and immediately recognizable to consumers. It also had the added bonus of keeping the chicken crispy and less soggy. Thomas also developed the trademark sign, simplified the menu, and recommended that the Colonel star in his own commercials.
Thomas was so effective he was sent to save 4 failing restaurants in Columbus, where he greatly increased sales. Dave Thomas would take what he learned working with KFC to develop his own restaurant: Wendy’s. He named the restaurant after his daughter Melinda, who had the nickname Wenda. He was successful and Wendy’s would be the 3rd most popular fast food restaurant.