The Wendy’s Company is the world’s third largest quick-service hamburger company. It is the parent company of Wendy’s International which owns and franchises the Wendy’s restaurants in the United States. Founded in 1969 by Dave Thomas in Columbus, Ohio, Wendy’s focuses on promoting an extensive made-to-order menu with a special focus on fresh, never frozen hamburgers. After growing to almost 500 locations, Wendy’s went public in 1976 and today is traded on the NASDAQ under the symbol WEN. For 2015 system-wide sales were over $8.0 billion and year over year same-store sales increased by 3.1%. An average restaurant reports sales over $1.59 million annually.
As of January, 2016 there were 6,076 Wendy’s restaurants in operation in North America. As part of a system optimization initiative, the company has been reducing the number of company-owned stores. Of the North American restaurants, 632 were corporate stores operated by Wendy’s, down from 1,183 corporate stores in 2014, and 5,444 were operated by a total of 390 franchisees. In terms of store count, the company has roughly maintained the number of locations