Wendy's founder dead at 69.
January 8, 2002 6:15 AM   Subscribe

Wendy's founder dead at 69. As fast food goes, he did a pretty good job of making it taste better than the competition. Plus, one of the longest TV commercial campaigns will need to change. So long, and thanks for "Where's the Beef?"
posted by particle (38 comments total)
scroll down one
posted by insomnyuk at 6:16 AM on January 8, 2002

darned refresh delays. sorry 'bout the double post on my first try. see the first post here.
posted by particle at 6:18 AM on January 8, 2002

Wendy's has the best french fries too, they have potato inside! :)
posted by LinemanBear at 6:23 AM on January 8, 2002

Why am I reminded of the "dead pets in pet food" story? Oh, well, no matter...

Dave, you built an empire of which you can be proud. Hopefully your legacy can maintain your standards of quality longer than Ray Kroc's heirs managed.
posted by mischief at 6:33 AM on January 8, 2002

this FPP is definately more appealing than the one before it, very well stated and compelling.
posted by hotdoughnutsnow at 6:44 AM on January 8, 2002

Dammit, this makes me sad. I felt like I knew Dave! Their ads were never sleazy, but just good old fashioned simple information: "Hi, I'm Dave Thomas, and our food is good and cheap." I, for one, was a fan.
posted by tweebiscuit at 6:49 AM on January 8, 2002

uggh, gotta repost here...
my prediction is that PETA is asinine enough to use this as a campaign, regardless of whether is is determined that Mr. Thomas dies of cardio-vascular complications. I like my burgers square...
posted by machaus at 6:51 AM on January 8, 2002

Crosspost: The names "Dave" and "Elvis" share letters. This is certainly significant.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 7:05 AM on January 8, 2002

it was probably PeTA's fault!
posted by Hankins at 7:07 AM on January 8, 2002

I have to say, out of all the fast food joints, Wendy's definetly has the best food, especially their chicken sandwiches (I hear they are the only fast-food place to use real chicken brest). But BK has the best fries. Now, if Wendy's could get fries like BK's.....

R.I.P. Dave Thomas, you will be missed!
posted by Rastafari at 7:09 AM on January 8, 2002

this sucks. not only did he always keep a good, decent image in all his commercials, he was also very public about his support of adoption programs to get orphans into decent homes.

ah well ... on the rare occasion i actually eat fast food, it's always wendy's.
posted by aenemated at 7:13 AM on January 8, 2002

On the day its founder died, I'm glad to see the thing they are promoting on their web site is their tasty Spicy Chicken Fillet Sandwich.

Given how slow their site loads, I trust that many people are looking to see what the company has to say. Too bad.
posted by fleener at 7:16 AM on January 8, 2002

I was watching Dave's biography yesterday. Wendy's left Argentina last year, so we have to eat fast food at McDonald's or Burger King, we can even get one Jack in the Box diner around here.
posted by Flor at 7:33 AM on January 8, 2002

He had not looked well in the last several commercials.
posted by thirteen at 7:37 AM on January 8, 2002

Kudos to the late DT for a really great place to get a baked potato for a quick meal. And the chili isn't half bad, either.

My wife informs me that DT, an adopted child himself, did a lot on behalf of adoptive parents. As we adopted our only son (not with DT's help tho), that kind of philanthropy resonates with us.
posted by alumshubby at 7:45 AM on January 8, 2002

I've only ever been to the US a couple of times, but when I was there it was always a sly treat to myself to have a chicken sandwich at Wendy's
posted by jackiemcghee at 7:55 AM on January 8, 2002

speaking of crossposts, do you think Karen Davis, president of United Poultry Concerns will use this in her crusade?
posted by particle at 8:33 AM on January 8, 2002

Aw man, Dave rocked. I also saw that episode of Biography with him and was surprised to learn he had a pretty extensive pre-Wendys life when he worked for the Colonel (Sanders). One of the more appealing commercial pitchmen.
posted by owillis at 9:48 AM on January 8, 2002

I went to the Wendy's at Boston's Downtown Crossing for lunch. I tipped a little bit of my soda out for Dave. It made the place cleaner.
posted by Harry Hopkins' Hat at 10:07 AM on January 8, 2002

I'm telling you, the Colonel's cultural influence is everywhere!
posted by insomnyuk at 10:12 AM on January 8, 2002

if i owned burger king or mcD, i'd instruct all employees to make the patties square for one day of tribute.
posted by th3ph17 at 10:19 AM on January 8, 2002

Wendy's chili *rocks.* And I liked their commercials, too.
posted by metrocake at 10:25 AM on January 8, 2002

Can't make the patties square, they're delivered frozen (and round). You could cut the edges off, I guess, but that wouldn't make a Wendy's-style patty.
posted by kindall at 11:03 AM on January 8, 2002

my #6 combo (spicey chicken) today tasted a little bittersweet.

we'll miss you dave, thanks for staying up late.
posted by hotdoughnutsnow at 11:15 AM on January 8, 2002

We had Wendy's for lunch yesterday. It is office policy to never eat at the same place two days in a row. Today we made an exception.

The Spicy Chicken Sandwich is still king, but the entire menu is genuinely tasty. I found myself wanting to order one of everything in tribute.

One of my fondest Wendy's memories was in Lawrence, Kansas. They used to have all you can eat chili for 99 cents on Tuesday afternoons... I would truck up there with a bunch of fellow frozen college buddies on a wintry January Tuesday and eat chili and drink free Dr. Pepper refills all afternoon.

Thanks Dave!
posted by campy at 11:43 AM on January 8, 2002

I worked at Wendy's for a summer, before I managed to find a programming job the next summer.

Despite hating working there (hey, who wants to flip burgers all summer? If you're even lucky enough to get grill duty) it's still my preference for a quick burger when on the road.

Man, I sure could go for some Jr. Bacon Cheeseburgers right now.

Dave, you will be missed.
posted by adamv at 11:58 AM on January 8, 2002

Rastafari, Chick-fil-a uses real chicken breasts too. I know, I spent way too long working there and breading that stuff up. Ew. Milkwash and seasoned coater all over my hands SUCKED.
posted by chiababe at 12:02 PM on January 8, 2002

And here I was scared one of the actors in my favorite movie was dead.

Wendy's had the best 'Willow' tie-in toys, too.
posted by hellinskira at 1:58 PM on January 8, 2002

Guys, I don't think Wendy's is going to close down or anything.
posted by glenwood at 2:02 PM on January 8, 2002

Not only will Wendy's not close down, but they also don't necessarily have to change their advertising campaign - what about CGI Dave Thomas? An idea that perhaps could prove to be a bit confusing to those who are less bright in society, but an idea nonetheless.
posted by tepidmonkey at 2:54 PM on January 8, 2002

this really sucks, I was a total Dave fan. the commercials were lighthearted and I always got the feeling that you got to know Dave, himself, through them.

The small, mid-western town that I'm living in now doesn't have a Wendy's, but when I move back out west in March, the first place I'm going is Wendy's. gonna pay my respects.
posted by lizardboy at 3:44 PM on January 8, 2002

what about CGI Dave Thomas?

If he had his face -- instead of a likeness of his daughter -- all over his restaurants, then perhaps someday we'd see animated Dave dancing the cabbage patch (or some other equally dated move) around burgers and fries, like the current crop of dancing Colonel ads, but Dave was the spokesman, not the logo, so I wouldn't hold your breath.
posted by Dreama at 5:00 PM on January 8, 2002

Any comment from Wendy herself? She's remained pretty aloof considering the food franchise is her namesake.

So long, Dave. Your droll yet earnest presence in ads was a welcome relief from obnoxious McD's and BK ads.
posted by Down10 at 5:21 PM on January 8, 2002

Despite hating working there ... it's still my preference for a quick burger when on the road.

I worked at Wendy's for awhile too, and share the sentiment (unlike other fast food places I've worked at, where once you see it behind the scenes, you never wanna step foot back in as a customer).

As someone mentioned -- real chicken breasts. Delivered in giant sheets that looked like cup-cake tins. You had to pop a tendon on the underside, or it'd curl up into a ball when you cooked it. I used to actually enjoy running the machines that stamped out those square hamburger patties -- pour the ground beef in the hopper ... whomp-whomp-whomp Presto! (Doesn't anyone else use fresh hamburger?)

Ahhh, memories ...

Goodbye, Dave!
posted by RavinDave at 5:41 PM on January 8, 2002

Now that DT is gone, maybe they'll drop the double stack, the biggie fries, the large chili, and the biggie drink back down to ¢.99 in memorium.

That ¢.30 increase has really bit down on my spending cash.

From a fellow Columbus resident...peace, Dave.
posted by tiger yang at 7:01 PM on January 8, 2002

RIP, Dave. You helmed the only fast-food chain I'd eat from.
posted by somethingotherthan at 7:21 PM on January 8, 2002

Finally, we'll see better commercials ;-). As far as the food goes: junk food is junk food.

Rest in peace Dave.
posted by {savg*pncl} at 9:03 PM on January 8, 2002

A decade ago, I underwent several maxillofacial surgeries, and I couldn't eat solid food for long periods of time after the surgeries. I survived by eating liquified Wendy's hamburgers as at least one-third of my "dinners." Thanks, Dave.
posted by spira at 10:59 PM on January 8, 2002

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