Dave’s passion to succeed – the right way – drove Wendy’s growth. He felt good knowing his love of hamburgers created jobs for other people and gave them the opportunity to make their own dreams come true. That was Dave’s way. He asked from others no more than he demanded of himself – the best they could give. “The first two letters of Wendy’s are WE,” he’d say. Today, Dave’s way is the Wendy’s Way.
He was much more to the thousands who mourned his passing in January 2002. People who worked with Dave for charitable causes, Wendy’s employees who lost their company founder, and customers who saw only his welcoming face on their television sets were left with wonderful memories of a man who was loved by all. America paid tribute to Dave, not just as Wendy’s founder, but also as a humanitarian. Members of Congress cited his impact on adoption legislation and restaurateurs spoke of his pioneering spirit. Customers called to say they would miss Dave’s endearing smile. Parents and children touched by adoption wrote to express their thanks. “He was truly one of the nice guys,” they said. No doubt Dave, the humble giant of the restaurant industry, is busy at the big restaurant in the sky teaching the angels how to do a proper four-corner press.