Wendy's is an American international fast food restaurant chain founded by Dave Thomas on November 15, 1969, in Columbus, Ohio. The company moved its headquarters to Dublin, Ohio, on January 29, 2006. As of December 31, 2018, Wendy's was the world's third-largest hamburger fast-food chain with 6,711 locations, following Burger King and McDonald's. On April 24, 2008, the company announced a merger with Triarc Companies Inc., a publicly-traded company and the parent company of Arby's. Wendy's headquarters remained in Dublin. Following the merger, Triarc became known as Wendy's/Arby's Group, and later as The Wendy's Company.
As of December 31, 2018, there were a total of 6,711 locations, including 353 that are company-owned and 6,358 that are franchised; 92% of the system-wide locations are in North America. While Wendy's determines standards for each store's exterior appearance, food quality, and menu, the store owners have control over hours of operations, interior decor, pricing, staff uniforms, and wages.
The chain is known for its square hamburgers, sea salt fries, and Frosty, a form of soft-serve ice cream mixed with starches. Wendy's menu consists primarily of hamburgers, chicken sandwiches, French fries, and beverages such as the Frosty. Since phasing out their Big Classic, the company does not have a signature sandwich, such as the Burger King Whopper or the McDonald's Big Mac. Dave's 1⁄4 pound (110 g) Single was introduced in 2011 as Dave's Hot 'N Juicy, a reworking of the longstanding Wendy's Single (shortened to simply Dave's in 2016), a square-pattied burger made with fresh ground beef rather than round frozen patties. Wendy's uses square hamburger patties – which hang over the edge of a circular bun – as its signature item.