Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Food for Thought; What Wendy's learned from the fingertip hoax (Wendy CEO speaks eloquently)
OPINION JOURNAL.COM ^ | MAY 21, 2005 | JACK SCHUESSLER

Posted on 05/20/2005 10:39:22 PM PDT by CHARLITE

There's nothing quite as unnerving as becoming the target of fraud. For us at Wendy's, that nightmare became reality when a customer falsely accused the Wendy's on Monterey Road in San Jose, Calif., of putting a human fingertip in a bowl of chili. Within an hour the story was on TV news, and soon after, Wendy's was fodder for Jay Leno. It was painful for us to watch unfold.

In the early hours of this crisis, we were faced with demanding questions. How we chose to respond was critical.

The exposure of this hoax by authorities has completely vindicated Wendy's. While this has been a difficult time, we're bouncing back. We are grateful to the millions of customers who remained loyal to us as this story unfolded. We know that it will take some time before business gets entirely back to normal, but we're very encouraged by the message we're hearing from our customers and employees.

The disturbing truth for everyone in the business community is that a devastating fraud can be perpetrated by a single individual. And the ramifications to a company's reputation are frightening. What is often lost in the hoopla is the personal price paid by the employees who have mortgages, children to feed and medical bills to pay. These are innocent people just trying to earn an honest living, but who end up the real victims. It may not be possible to completely safeguard a company's profits, reputation and employees, but the lessons learned from this crisis are clear: Stay true to your values in good times and bad. This was an arduous test of our resolve as a company. But I think it's at times like this that your customers and your employees get a true measure of who you really are.

(Excerpt) Read more at opinionjournal.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Constitution/Conservatism; Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Government; News/Current Events; Philosophy; US: California
KEYWORDS: ceo; davethomas; explains; fingertip; hoax; learned; legacy; lessons; of; wendys

1 posted on 05/20/2005 10:39:23 PM PDT by CHARLITE
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: CHARLITE

The perps have a real future in journalism when they get out of jail!!!! Who knows, maybe they can start writing their fanciful columns while in jail.... they'll be real heroes to the idiot left....


2 posted on 05/20/2005 10:42:28 PM PDT by Enchante (Kerry's mere nuisances: Marine Barracks '83, WTC '93, Khobar Towers, Embassy Bombs '98, USS Cole!!!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: CHARLITE

Nice to see that Wendy's maintains the standards set by Dave Thomas. Concern for the employees is rare these days. I should go out of my way to one for lunch.


3 posted on 05/20/2005 10:51:08 PM PDT by Fudd Fan (red, red voter in a blue, blue state)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Fudd Fan

Don't forget to order your "chiliFingers" ;)
I have to go by and give them some business as well. i keep forgeting to go at lunch.


4 posted on 05/20/2005 11:00:51 PM PDT by 1FASTGLOCK45 (FreeRepublic: More fun than watching Dem'Rats drown like Turkeys in the rain! ! !)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: Fudd Fan

I've gone to Wendy's twice since the finger fraud unravelled, and that's the first I've gone to Wendy's in over a decade. I've ordered chili both times too. =)


5 posted on 05/20/2005 11:03:15 PM PDT by AntiGuv ()
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: CHARLITE

I ate at Wendy's about once every two weeks before the finger claim, and about once every two weeks AFTER the finger claim. I did appreciate the free frosty last Friday.

After the State is finished with the fraudsters, I hope Wendy's sues them for everything they own, have owned, or will ever own. Don't leave a cent for the children. Instead, put them in foster homes where they may learn right from wrong.


6 posted on 05/20/2005 11:07:46 PM PDT by SmithL (Proud Submariner)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: 1FASTGLOCK45; Fudd Fan; AntiGuv; purpleland; Alamo-Girl
Did you know that Dave Thomas was a foundling? ..... the same as James Michener was. Both were left on church doorsteps by their birth mothers, and were raised by good people in each case. Neither one of them ever learned who their natural parents were.

Char :)

7 posted on 05/20/2005 11:09:16 PM PDT by CHARLITE (Not gonna be happy until the Hillster is sent packing, with Billery in tow. on a leash.........)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: CHARLITE

Didn't know, Thanks for the "quickie" lesson :)


8 posted on 05/20/2005 11:11:43 PM PDT by 1FASTGLOCK45 (FreeRepublic: More fun than watching Dem'Rats drown like Turkeys in the rain! ! !)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: AntiGuv

Hmmm, maybe I'll make a point of picking up a Frosty. I don't think there's anything else on their menu I'd eat, finger or no.


9 posted on 05/20/2005 11:30:48 PM PDT by ambrose (NEWSWEAK LIED .... AND PEOPLE DIED)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: SmithL

People like this are judgment proof...


10 posted on 05/20/2005 11:31:38 PM PDT by ambrose (NEWSWEAK LIED .... AND PEOPLE DIED)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: 1FASTGLOCK45

Personally, I never believed this story and always thought it was fabricated.

I've eaten at Wendy's ever since they became the first fast food place near my work to take ATM/debit cards. I'm always too cheap to go get $10-20 and pay $2.50 in ATM fees. So Wendy's got my 4 day a week business.

I'll be a loyal customer until Sonic comes to Pittsburgh, then.... well.... no customer service improvements they could offer could keep me away from a double Sonic burger with cheese.


11 posted on 05/20/2005 11:34:19 PM PDT by PittsburghAfterDark
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: SmithL

Then they should sue all the MSM a-holes that gleefully reported it AS FACT!


12 posted on 05/20/2005 11:34:26 PM PDT by Fledermaus (Rats theme song: "Whatever it is...I'm AGAINST it ! - Groucho Marx")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: CHARLITE

Great stories and lessons. They didn't spend their lives
belly-aching.


13 posted on 05/20/2005 11:35:34 PM PDT by slowpipe (" I'll go to school if you want me to, Pa. But I won't take Symbolic Logic.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: CHARLITE

I'm just glad all this crap didn't go down when Dave Thomas was alive.

That guy had class.


14 posted on 05/20/2005 11:36:25 PM PDT by djf (Sheep logic, or why sheep aren't mathematicians: I'll give up my freedom to preserve freedom)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: djf

There are no Wendy's convenient to where I work or live, but if there was I would be stopping by once a week or so. I've always liked their Chili-Fries. Alas, the restaurants in Japan don't sell the big, juicy triple-burgers I remember fondly from the States.

Their morning menu kinda stinks, too.


15 posted on 05/20/2005 11:51:21 PM PDT by Ronin (When the fox gnaws....SMILE!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: djf
Dave Thomas was a true American GIANT; - a very fine individual, genuine to his core. It was a great loss when he died, which was too soon, in my opinion. I don't believe that he was all that old.

Char (:

16 posted on 05/20/2005 11:51:30 PM PDT by CHARLITE (Not gonna be happy until the Hillster is sent packing, with Billery in tow. on a leash.........)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: Enchante
" The perps have a real future in journalism when they get out of jail!!!! " Correction: The perps have a real future in the LIBERAL/MSM journalism when they get out of jail !!
I wonder now, how much mileage her bogus claims of " RACISM " will get her now ?
When ever I hear anyone yell Racism anymore, it just does not hold water, and I also hold a skeptical mind, in that ? it must be some kind of scam.
17 posted on 05/20/2005 11:53:44 PM PDT by Prophet in the wilderness (PSALM 53 : 1 The ( FOOL ) hath said in his heart , There is no GOD .)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: CHARLITE

BTTT


18 posted on 05/21/2005 1:23:26 AM PDT by thegreatbeast (Quid lucrum istic mihi est?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: CHARLITE

This incident has several important "lessons to learn".

1. Reputations take years to build and can be damaged in an instant.

2. It is hard to prove a negative ... but it can be done.

3. Late-night talk show hosts wield a lot of power.

4. When people steal or scam from a corporation because "it's big and impersonal and won't miss the loss", lots of little people can get hurt (layoffs, loss of overtime, loss of reputation).

5. Paying off falsified, bogus lawsuits to avoid more publicity has probably caused more scams and hoaxes. Doing what Wendy's has done in this case will probably prevent this in ways we will never know.


19 posted on 05/21/2005 4:04:59 AM PDT by JohnEBoy
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: CHARLITE

I know that at one time, Dave Thomas was supporting a scholership program at Duke for foundlings. Sometimes when he was in Durham for that program, he'd stop by and see how the restaurants were doing. I know people who were served their Triple w/cheese by Dave himself.


20 posted on 05/21/2005 4:50:09 AM PDT by wolfpat (dum vivimus, vivamus)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: PittsburghAfterDark

I seem to recall on one of the threads about political donations that Sonic is a supporter of the Democratic Party....hardly Americas Drive In.


21 posted on 05/21/2005 4:56:31 AM PDT by xp38
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: CHARLITE

Now we need the same investigative team to look into the Amazon.com-defaced Koran episode.

hmmmmm


22 posted on 05/21/2005 5:05:43 AM PDT by Blueflag (Res ipsa loquitor)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: CHARLITE

I'm glad Wendy's didn't cave -- but I got a couple of quasi-related nitpicks.

First off, what you can earn at a Wendy's (unless you're a manager) is not usually in "pay the mortgage" class. Not a slam at Wendy's in particular, the same is true of McD, Burger King, etc. Though in multi income families of course those dollars help.

Second, I think someone who was familiar with the Wendy's of a decade or so ago might give some credence to health issues. They had a nice free refills salad bar, but it was by bringing the same foam plate back and back. People who came back for seconds would, naturally, whack the serving spoons on the plates from which they had eaten. I didn't want the extra share of cold, flu, etc. germs, and sadly gave up partaking from what was otherwise the redeeming feature of a so-so fast food restaurant. I guess the food safety folks eventually got after Wendy's for this (like they generally require taking fresh plates at buffets) since Wendy's discontinued the feature.


23 posted on 05/21/2005 5:10:48 AM PDT by The Red Zone (Florida, the sun-shame state and Georgia, the rotten peach, and Illinois the chicken injun.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: CHARLITE
Like i have said before Wendy's is a stand up company and have good leaders.I wish them the best.
24 posted on 05/21/2005 5:18:39 AM PDT by solo gringo (Liberal democrats And Flori-duh judges are parasites)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: CHARLITE

How interesting! Thanks for the ping!


25 posted on 05/21/2005 6:05:02 AM PDT by Alamo-Girl
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: 1FASTGLOCK45

do you want that order with or without fingernail?....


26 posted on 05/21/2005 6:24:43 AM PDT by Route101
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: CHARLITE

Wendy's also owns the Tim Horton Donuts chain in the NE/Canada and Baja Fresh in the west.


27 posted on 05/21/2005 6:55:44 AM PDT by Wacka
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: The Red Zone
First off, what you can earn at a Wendy's (unless you're a manager) is not usually in "pay the mortgage" class.

Not everyone has $200,000 and + mortgages around the country. That salary can pay modest 40,000 dollar mortgages.

28 posted on 05/21/2005 7:08:14 AM PDT by MadelineZapeezda (If you right click on Madeline Albright's image, my name should show up!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 23 | View Replies]

To: MadelineZapeezda

On a "variable by demand" schedule? It's not as if you can go mowing lawns on a moment's notice to take up the slack.


29 posted on 05/21/2005 7:19:14 AM PDT by The Red Zone (Florida, the sun-shame state and Georgia, the rotten peach, and Illinois the chicken injun.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 28 | View Replies]

To: Fudd Fan

There was a time when Wendy's was very family oriented. Especially when first started. However, in the mid 80's Wendy's took their eye off the ball and came very close to getting in serious trouble. That's when Dave brought Jim Near in. During the rebuild and subsequent years, that concern not only for customers, profit and growth, but for employees and their families was evident. Many people got hurt when the crash began in the mid 80's and it seemed Dave and Jim were not going to let it happen again. Near passed away and has been suceeded by two others. It slipped a little after Near, but the concept of balancing customers, profit and growth while maintain a spirit of family at the coporate level is now almost gone, especially since Dave passed away. The focus is now almsot entirely on profit as costs, especially for meat has increased. My ex wife works at corporate and the espirit that was there when she joined is largely gone. Workers now do the tasks and little more. They are stretched very thin. With outsiders nipping with large stock purchases, the upper echelons are managing by CYA instead of what's the best balance between the profits and those behind the scenes that allow those profits to flourish. It's not pretty.


30 posted on 05/21/2005 7:52:58 AM PDT by joesbucks
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: The Red Zone

I was a Wendy's buffet user from the beginning. There was always a sign that you had to get a new plate at our Wendy's.


31 posted on 05/21/2005 11:54:19 AM PDT by GOP_Proud (...stumbling across Bill Bennett on the radio is like bumping into Socrates at Starbucks.-K.Parker)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 23 | View Replies]

To: GOP_Proud

That was helpful of them. The one I visited (situated in the Queen City, Naperville IL, so not exactly a slouch location) didn't seem to have a clue. People were always bopping the serving spoons on their dirty plates. Either the manager was skimping on the cost of plates, or it wasn't a Wendy's-wide policy. I suppose I could have complained to Wendy's, but I thought why bother.


32 posted on 05/21/2005 12:01:05 PM PDT by The Red Zone (Florida, the sun-shame state, and Illinois the chicken injun.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 31 | View Replies]

To: MadelineZapeezda

< First off, what you can earn at a Wendy's (unless you're a manager) is not usually in "pay the mortgage" class.



Not everyone has $200,000 and + mortgages around the country. That salary can pay modest 40,000 dollar mortgages.



Gee, does anyone really look at a job at Wendy's, below manager, as anything but a stepping stone to something else? Fast food jobs, by and large, are for summer and extra money while studying or for the senior who is adding to a social security check. I wouldn't think a career plan is to stay in fast food at the drive thru level.

All minimum wage jobs are like that. That's why minimum wage was never meant to feed a family of four. It's for students and 2nd incomes.


33 posted on 05/21/2005 12:02:46 PM PDT by GOP_Proud (...stumbling across Bill Bennett on the radio is like bumping into Socrates at Starbucks.-K.Parker)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 28 | View Replies]

To: GOP_Proud
That salary can pay modest 40,000 dollar mortgages. I guess you're saying for a mobile home?
34 posted on 05/21/2005 1:00:44 PM PDT by joesbucks
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 33 | View Replies]

To: GOP_Proud
Get a grip. There are many jobs at Wendy's and not just the fry cooks. As a huge corporation they employ drivers, inspectors, testers, food chemists, marketing types, middle-managers, maids, janitors and contract with bakeries, condiment makers, container manufacturers, paper-bag suppliers, franchise owners. And that's just a few of the people working for the company.

The fry cooks at Wendy's in my experience tend to be younger, female and ESL types. Stop being such a Country Club Republican and look them in the eye, not down your nose for a change.

35 posted on 05/21/2005 8:38:26 PM PDT by newzjunkey (Remind Liberal Cowards Why America Freed Iraq: http://massgraves.info/)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 33 | View Replies]

To: CHARLITE
I miss Dave's TV ads. He was a cool cat and did a lot for adoption.

The day the story broke I made it a point to goto Wendy's and order chili. I did it the next week too. I've been back once or twice since for salad.

And that Spicy Crispy Chicken sandwich has to be available inside the Pearly Gates. Mmmm.

36 posted on 05/21/2005 8:40:40 PM PDT by newzjunkey (Remind Liberal Cowards Why America Freed Iraq: http://massgraves.info/)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: newzjunkey
"I miss Dave's TV ads."

Me, too. He was such a truly likeable fellow. I was genuinely sad when he passed away. He was the epitome of "the American dream."

Thanks for such sensitive comments about Dave and Wendy's!

Char :)

37 posted on 05/21/2005 8:44:44 PM PDT by CHARLITE (Not gonna be happy until the Hillster is sent packing, with Billery in tow. on a leash.........)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 36 | View Replies]

To: Route101

How about a Mentos? Check out this funny link:

http://www.starterupsteve.com/swf/mentos.html


38 posted on 05/21/2005 11:00:32 PM PDT by 1FASTGLOCK45 (FreeRepublic: More fun than watching Dem'Rats drown like Turkeys in the rain! ! !)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 26 | View Replies]

To: CHARLITE
Did you know that Dave Thomas was a foundling? .....

he was also greatly responsible for Kentucky Fried Chicken's success... (along with the Colonel, of course)...

39 posted on 05/21/2005 11:08:43 PM PDT by latina4dubya
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: The Red Zone; GOP_Proud
First off, what you can earn at a Wendy's (unless you're a manager) is not usually in "pay the mortgage" class

gee--i don't know... Dave became a millionaire working for Kentucky Fried Chicken before he ever started Wendy's...

40 posted on 05/21/2005 11:13:22 PM PDT by latina4dubya
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 23 | View Replies]

To: CHARLITE
Did the article change at Opinion Journal, or did you just do your own editing for the excerpt?

I scanned the story to look for "get a true measure of who you really are" so I could finish the article. . . and that's the the last line.

41 posted on 05/21/2005 11:25:56 PM PDT by Flyer (I've seen your king come and go here)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: newzjunkey
And that Spicy Crispy Chicken sandwich has to be available inside the Pearly Gates. Mmmm.

You and I agree on that. I was so glad it became a regular item on the menu.

42 posted on 05/21/2005 11:34:47 PM PDT by L.N. Smithee (Freeping since March 1998. This is my blessing. This is my curse.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 36 | View Replies]

To: latina4dubya

As a counter grunt?


43 posted on 05/27/2005 6:26:28 PM PDT by The Red Zone (Florida, the sun-shame state, and Illinois the chicken injun.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 40 | View Replies]

To: The Red Zone
As a counter grunt?

no--he did that at another restaurant... i believe a family took him in and let him work at their restaurant... he started from the bottom doing things like sweeping the floor, washing dishes, etc... but that was not the point of my comment... the point was, not only minimum wage workers work for fast food places... some people do pay their mortgages with money earned at "fast food" companies...

the story about how Dave T. and The Colonel first connected is pretty fascinating... after Dave made his millions with Kentucky Fried, he went into a short retirement... but he just couldn't let go of the fast food business... he then came up with Wendy's...

44 posted on 05/27/2005 7:09:16 PM PDT by latina4dubya
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 43 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson