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Dave Thomas Articles
The Man at the Top of the Food Chain: Dave Thomas is Born
Dave Thomas starred in 652 commercials for Wendy’s Old Fashioned Hamburgers, more than any other person in television history. But, he wasn’t just that friendly face you saw on TV with his white shirts and red ties; Thomas built his multi-billion dollar fast-food restaurant chain from the ground up, earning him a reputation as one of the most successful and loved entrepreneurs in American history.
Open For Business: Wendy’s Takes Off
In early 1969, Thomas was sitting in the steam room of the Columbus Athletic Club with his friend Len Immke, sharing with him his restaurant ideas. After finding the Club’s dining room closed, Immke commented on how difficult it was to find a good lunch downtown and suggested that Thomas open his own restaurant in one of Immke’s buildings. On November 15, 1969, Thomas did just that and opened the first Wendy’s Old Fashioned Hamburgers in Columbus, Ohio to a packed grand opening.
Lesson #1: Be A Visionary
Thomas didn’t just know how to cook a good hamburger; he single-handedly revolutionized the fast food industry. He didn’t want to be just another fast-food joint; he wanted to create the type of old-fashioned family restaurant that he had dined in so many times with his father and he wanted to serve quality food.
Lesson #2: Get Back To Basics
“It all comes back to the basics,” said Thomas. “Serve customers the best-tasting food at a good value in a clean, comfortable restaurant, and they'll keep coming back.”
Lesson #3: Give Something Back
“We have a responsibility to help others who can’t help themselves,” said Thomas. “The more you give, the more you get in return.”
Lesson #4: Act With Integrity
“Mary Kay Ash, founder of Mary Kay Cosmetics, once told me something I’ll never forget,” recalled Thomas. “She said the one suggestion she got in life that helped her most was to ‘pretend that every single person you meet has a sign around his or her neck that says, ‘Make me feel important.’”
Lesson #5: Believe In Your Dream
When Thomas was 15 years old, he wrote an essay for school called The Pursuit of Happiness. In it, he wrote, “When I was eight years old, I dreamed that I would one day own the best restaurant in the world. My restaurant would serve great tasting hamburgers made just the way you like them, and all of the customers would love the food and come back again and again.”
The Savory Taste of Success Thomas Rise to the Top
Thomas’ father once told him, “You’ll never keep a job! I’ll be supporting you for the rest of your life.” From being an anonymous baby who was unwanted by his birth parents to becoming a multi-million dollar CEO, Thomas made the vision he outlined as a 15 year old come true. Through a combination of hard work, desire and his unique personality, Thomas rose to the top of the food chain. What were his success factors?
Dave Thomas Quotes
Dave Thomas Quotes
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