Food & Nutrition

How 8 Famous Fast-Food Restaurants Got Their Names

Plucked from a dream, an old map, a daughter’s birth certificate—that’s how the names of some of the most famous fast-food restaurants came to be.


Las Vegas - Circa December 2016: Chick-fil-A Retail Fast Food Location. Chick-fil-A Restaurants are Closed on Sundays IIIJonathan Weiss/Shutterstock

In 1946, there wasn’t much chicken at The Dwarf Grill in the suburbs of Atlanta. Later the restaurant became known as The Dwarf House, with signage including the Chick-fil-A logo we know it today. Truett Cathy created the simplest of sandwiches (chicken and two pickles on a bun) in 1964, and eventually, the Dwarf bit fell off as the empire grew. Chick-fil-A lovers, here’s everything you need to know about their secret menu.


This photo shows a Whataburger restaurant in San Antonio, Texas. The iconic Texas restaurant chain will not allow the open carrying of guns on its properties, taking a stand against a new law legalizing the practiceEric Gay/Shutterstock

For the creator of the famous A-frame burger shack, bigger was simply better. In the mid-20th century, there was nary a patty bigger than four inches. But Harmon Dobson dreamed of a square five. A burger so grand, in fact, that it would make one exclaim, “What a burger!” And his chain’s name is an homage to that dream.


SPENCER , WISCONSIN, October, 16, 2015 Wendy's Restaurant Sign on a Storefront Wendy's is an international food chain of stores and was founded in 1969dcwcreations/Shutterstock

Ever since he was a boy, Dave Thomas knew he wanted to have a restaurant. And after 20 years in the biz, he did just that, opening the first Wendy’s in 1969 in Columbus, Ohio. Wendy was the nickname of one of his children, Melinda. But he wasn’t playing favorites—he experimented with all five of his kids’ names before settling. Get a look at the first-ever locations of 8 of your favorite fast-food joints.


BURIRAM - DECEMBER 4 : McDonald's in Thailand, Corporation is the world's largest chain of hamburger fast food restaurants, during the day hours on December 4, 2016, Buriram, Thailand.Chatchai Somwat/Shutterstock

In 1954, brothers Dick and Mac McDonald had a small but successful eponymous burger joint in San Bernardino, California. But it was the opportunistic Ray Kroc who bought the restaurant and the name, built the system around it, and made it the global powerhouse that it is today.

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