The Wendy’s Company

The Wendy’s Company (“Wendy’s”) is one of the largest quick-service hamburger companies in the world.

Trian originally invested in Wendy’s International, Inc., the predecessor company of Wendy’s, in late 2005, as Trian believed there were opportunities to improve value in the brand as a standalone hamburger business by divesting ancillary brands, and returning capital to shareholders. In September 2008, Trian helped to orchestrate a merger between Triarc Companies, Inc. (which owned the Arby’s® restaurant company) and Wendy’s International.

In 2011, following the merger of Wendy’s International and Triarc (which became known as the Wendy’s/Arby’s Group, Inc. and thereafter Wendy’s), Trian helped devise several operational initiatives focused on improving and growing the core Wendy’s brand. After selling control of the Arby’s brand in mid-2011, Wendy’s launched Image Activation, a remodel program, in 2012 with the goal of substantially reimaging the system’s restaurants by 2020. In 2013, Wendy’s embarked on a refranchising strategy (called System Optimization) to significantly reduce the percentage of company-owned stores by the end of 2016. Additionally, Wendy’s sold its bakery operations in mid-2015. In 2017, Wendy’s announced significant overhead reductions for completion by 2020.

Nelson Peltz, Peter May and Matt Peltz serve on the board of Wendy’s.

Sector: Consumer

Fun Fact: The Frosty, Wendy’s signature frozen dairy dessert, has been on the menu since the first Wendy’s location opened its doors in 1969 in Columbus, Ohio

Company Website:

ESG Highlights:

  • Favorable ISS Governance Score: Received a 1 on ISS’s QualityScore metric (as of April 1, 2018), the best possible score
  • Board Refreshment: From February 2015 through May 2018, Wendy’s has appointed 7 new directors (to a Board of 12 directors)
  • Healthy Menu Options: Wendy’s is a leading purveyor of salads and was the first quick service restaurant to create a salad bar in 1979. In June 2018, Wendy’s announced initiatives to source vine-ripened tomatoes for its North American restaurants exclusively from greenhouse farms by early 2019
  • Energy Consumption: Committed to a 20% energy reduction per transaction in U.S. company-owned restaurants by 2025
  • Diversity: At company-owned restaurants, a majority of all General Manager (GM) roles are occupied by women, and a majority of GM roles are also occupied by people of color (as of April 1, 2018)
  • Community Outreach: Since 2004, Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption and the Wendy’s Wonderful Kids Program have found permanent homes for more than 7,000 children through 2017
  • Greenhouse-grown Tomatoes: In June 2018, Wendy’s announced an initiative to source vine-ripened tomatoes for its North American restaurants exclusively from greenhouse farms by early 2019. Upon completion, Wendy’s will be the first national quick-service restaurant to source its entire tomato supply from greenhouses, which improves freshness and drastically reduces pesticide usage

For more information on ESG initiatives at Wendy’s, please visit

Former Trian Board Member