Did you know that the iconic Wendy’s logo, with the redheaded girl with pigtails, is based on Wendy’s founder Dave Thomas's daughter? Her real name is Melinda Lou but her nickname became Wendy because of her inability to pronounce Melinda Lou. Back in 1969 Dave Thomas found himself at a crossroads. He had spent more than a decade working for and then with Col Sanders to grow Kentucky Fried Chicken. He had left a few months earlies to start Arthur Treacher's Fish & Chips, with a group of investors. However he didn't feel like this is where he was supposed to be and so he left to found a hamburger chain.
Wendy Thomas writes on a blog post celebrating Wendy's 50th year in business that her dad tried out the names of all five of his kids before settling on hers .Pam, Lori, Molly, and a son, Kenny.
And while you might think it would be the coolest thing your parent could ever do for you, Wendy shared that before her father died in 2002, he actually apologized to her for naming the restaurant after her. She writes, “He explained, 'I should've just named it after myself, because it put a lot of pressure on you.” But she says the name has its perks, adding, “Sometimes if I need a reservation, it helps!”