Listen Now: The Face of Wendy’s: A Decision The Founder Regrets
Think you want to be the face of a business? Think again.
Since it opened its doors, the Wendy’s logo featured a redheaded girl wearing pigtails. Now we know that girl is the daughter of founder Dave Thomas, and she says her dad regrets that decision.
In 1969, Dave Thomas tried out the names of all five of his children when naming his new restaurant. Nothing stuck, until he tried out “Wendy,” the nickname of his daughter Melinda. He asked her to put her hair in pigtails, took some pictures and an icon was born.
Today there are more than six thousand locations across the world and Wendy is the face of every one of them. Now she says that before his death in 2002, Dave apologized to his daughter for naming the restaurant after her because of the pressure it put on her. Instead, Wendy says her father admitted he should have just named the restaurants after himself.
And while there were times when being a well-recognized face made life a little tough, it does have its perks. For example, making a dinner reservation.
CBS News Radio national business journalist Brian Banmiller has spent more than 40 years in the news industry, covering business, politics and the economy on television, radio and in print. Currently, his “Banmiller on Business” reports are delivered to an audience of millions nationwide.
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