9 Most Successful Fast-Food Chains



­ Dave Thomas opened the first Wendy's -- named for his daughter -- in Columbus, Ohio, in 1969. In 1970, Thomas introduced the drive-thru window to his customers, an innovation that allowed them to purchase food without leaving their cars. The chain's passion for customer service and quality products has remained unchanged throughout the years. Today, with an annual income of $3.7 billion, Wendy's has more than 9,900 restaurants and 58,000 employees.