Beautiful engraved specimen certificate from the Wendy's International, Inc
dated in 1981. This historic document was printed by United States Banknote Company and has an
ornate border around it with a vignette of an allegorical woman next to the company logo. This item has the printed signatures of the Company's Chairman, Dave Thomas and Secretary and is over 38 years old.
Wendy's is a chain of fast food restaurants founded by Dave Thomas based in Dublin, Ohio and owned by the American corporation Wendy's International, Inc. There are over 6,700 Wendy's restaurants worldwide.
Wendy's was founded by Dave Thomas in 1969 and was named after Dave's second daughter, Melinda Lou Thomas, then 8 years old, whom her older siblings nicknamed "Wendy" (originally "Winda", stemming from the child's initial difficulty saying her own name), as Thomas stated in his A&E Biography show. The corporate headquarters is located in Dublin, Ohio. The first Wendy's restaurant was opened in Columbus, Ohio on November 15, 1969, and the chain grew rapidly to open over 3,000 stores by 1985. However, by the mid-1980s some underperforming Wendy's restaurants were closed. By 1989, Dave Thomas came out of retirement and started doing commercials for Wendy's and helped rebuild the restaurant until his death on January 8, 2002. The chain is famous for its fresh, (as opposed to frozen) square ground beef hamburgers, which are made to order at the time of purchase and in their own words, "served hot off the grill". They are served as either a Classic Single (1/4 pound), Big Bacon Classic (1/4 pound), Classic Double (1/2 pound), and Classic Triple (3/4 pound). It is also known for its Frosty dairy desserts and its chili. Originally Wendy's had only two kinds of chicken sandwiches, breaded and grilled. Their spicy chicken sandwich started out as a promotional sandwich but was put on the menu full-time in the mid-1990s.
In 1970, Wendy's was the first fast-food chain to offer a drive-through window. Implemented initially at Wendy's second location, the "Pick-Up Window" used a speaker box to allow a customer to drive up, place an order, then drive to the window to complete the order.
In 1995, Tim Hortons' popularity had spilled over to American investors; the chain's parent company, The TDL Group ("TDL" stands for the original corporate name "Tim Doughnut Ltd."), was acquired by Wendy's International, Inc.. As a result, Ron Joyce, Tim Horton's partner and first franchisee, was, for a time, the largest shareholder of Wendy's.
Wendy's has recently begun experimenting with a breakfast menu in some of its stores, notably in and around the headquarters in Dublin, Ohio. Unlike most fast food chains, Wendy's historically did not serve breakfast, except for stores in Puerto Rico. Wendy's tried serving breakfast once before in the mid-1980s, but the endeavor was unsuccessful. The new breakfast differs slightly from the one featured in the 1980s. The one notable exception to the new breakfast is the Wendy's location at the Port Columbus International Airport in Columbus Ohio. It has served the original Wendy's breakfast since its debut in the 1980s.
In the late 1980s and early 1990s Wendy's also offered the "Superbar", an all-you-can-eat buffet. These buffets were reasonably-priced and generally consisted of three "pods": a salad pod, a hot items pod with spaghetti, tacos, burritos, garlic bread, etc., and a dessert and other cold items pod. These buffets, while economical and somewhat popular, did not fit into Wendy's fast-food oriented mindset. Most restaurants stopped featuring the buffets around 1998.
In October 2006, approximately 50 Wendy's restaurants in St. Louis, Missouri and Southwestern Illinois were forcibly closed due to financial troubles from the franchisee, WenAmerica. As of November 26, 2006, the restaurants remain closed and vacant.
Chili hoax - On March 22, 2005, Anna Ayala of Las Vegas claimed to have found an amputated human finger in her chili in a Wendy's location on Monterey Highway in San Jose, California. On April 21, she was arrested and charged with attempted grand larceny in connection with the finger discovery claim. On May 13, police announced that they had positively identified the finger's owner, an associate of Ayala's husband. The associate had lost his finger in an industrial accident in December 2004. Mrs. Ayala pleaded guilty to the charge in September 2005 and was sentenced to nine years in prison. Her husband pleaded guilty to being an accomplice and received a 12-year sentence on January 18, 2006.
In 1997, the company pulled its advertising from the sitcom Ellen after the show's main character came out as a lesbian. The result was a boycott initiated by the gay and lesbian community.
Aside from the United States, Wendy's has opened restaurants in Aruba, The Bahamas, Canada (with some locations attached to Tim Hortons), Cayman Islands, El Salvador, Greece, Guatemala, Honduras, Hungary, Indonesia, Italy, Israel, Jamaica, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Panama, Philippines, Puerto Rico, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, the United Arab Emirates, Venezuela, and recently Costa Rica.
When Wendy's opened stores in Australia and Colombia, they did not last long. Nine restaurants were picked up in Victoria by Hungry Jack's in 1986 after the Wendy's Hamburger Chain went bust.
There is currently another brand of fast-food restaurants called Wendy's in Australia and New Zealand. They are an ice cream and drinks franchise which is unrelated to the American hamburger chain. (See Wendy's (Australia)). The outlets have similar colour schemes to each other and most customers are unaware they have separate ownership.
Wendy's also had for a short time restaurants in Hong Kong.
Wendy's restaurants closed in Greece in 2002 after almost 8 years of operation due to heavy competition from other restaurants such as Goody's and McDonald's. It also closed its restaurants in Hungary in 2000-2001 due to the same reasons. Wendy's also had locations in major cities across the United Kingdom; these were sold to McDonald's in 1999. Wendy's also had 18 restaurants in Argentina. All of them were closed in November 2000.. Wendy's had been in the local market for four years and made the decision due to the poor performance of its restaurants.Wendy's restaurants that were opened in Israel in the beginning of the 90's were closed shortly after due to a heavy meat scam involving the chain.
The Japanese Wendy's franchises serve their hamburgers with an egg.
After successful early growth of the chain, sales flattened as the company struggled to achieve brand differentiation in the highly competitive fast-food market. This situation would turn around in the mid-1980s. Starting on January 9, 1984, elderly actress Clara Peller was featured in the successful "Where's the Beef?" North American commercial campaign for Wendy's. Her famous line quickly entered the American pop culture (it was even used by Walter Mondale in a debate with Gary Hart in the Democratic primary election) and served to promote Wendy's hamburgers. Peller, age 84, was dropped from the campaign in 1985 because she performed in a commercial for Prego spaghetti sauce, saying she "finally found" the beef. Peller was soon after replaced by Wendy's founder Dave Thomas himself. Soft-spoken and cheerful, the "Dave" ads generally focused on Thomas praising his products and offering a commitment to quality service, although there would occasionally be "wackier" ads as well. After Dave Thomas' death in 2002, Wendy's struggled to find a new advertising campaign. After a round of conventional ads describing the food they serve, in 2004 they tried using a character they made called "Mr. Wendy" who claimed to be the unofficial spokesperson for the chain. After seven months, Wendy's returned to an animated campaign focusing on the difference between Wendy's square hamburgers and the round hamburgers of competitors. Wendy's marketing arm engages in product placement in films (such as The Day After Tomorrow, Mr. Deeds, Garfield: The Movie, and Click) and television and is sometimes seen on ABC's hit reality show Extreme Makeover: Home Edition serving food to the more than 100 construction workers. A recent Wendy's commercial features the tune from the Violent Femmes song "Blister in the Sun".
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Specimen Certificates are actual certificates that have never been issued. They were usually kept by the printers in their permanent archives as their only example of a particular certificate. Sometimes you will see a hand stamp on the certificate that says "Do not remove from file".
Specimens were also used to show prospective clients different types of certificate designs that were available. Specimen certificates are usually much scarcer than issued certificates. In fact, many times they are the only way to get a certificate for a particular company because the issued certificates were redeemed and destroyed. In a few instances, Specimen certificates we made for a company but were never used because a different design was chosen by the company.
These certificates are normally stamped "Specimen" or they have small holes spelling the word specimen. Most of the time they don't have a serial number, or they have a serial number of 00000. This is an exciting sector of the hobby that grown in popularity over the past several years.