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The truth about Wendy’s supposed donation to Trump

Social media lit up with the claim that Wendy’s donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to Donald Trump’s re-election campaign — but that claim is not accurate.

Some iterations of the claim said that Wendy’s CEO, rather than the company itself, made the donation, which is also untrue.

What is true is that James Bodenstedt, who owns numerous Wendy’s, Taco Bell and Pizza Hut franchises through his Muy! Companies, donated $440,000 to Trump.

In fast food and other businesses, franchising means that individuals or companies pay for the right to use a brand’s name, logo and products.

Franchise holders typically have to agree to a broad set of rules for how the business is run but are otherwise considered independent of the corporate mothership.

To clarify, this means that someone who owns a holding company that, in turn, owns and operates fast food franchises under the Wendy’s, Taco Ball and Pizza Hut names, made the donation.

Put another way, boycotting every Wendy’s location or pointing fingers at the company as a whole isn’t necessarily fair. You’re essentially saying that someone with several degrees of separation from the company itself made a donation, as is his right, to a presidential campaign of his choice.

Further, the entire rumor started based on federally required campaign donation records that Bodenstedt completed as required.

A more effective means of protest would be to boycott locations owned or controlled by Muy!

Often local or corporate rules also require that signage be posted in a restaurant identifying the owner of the location.

Wendy’s itself took to social media stating the company never has or never will make a donation to a presidential campaign and further noted that its CEO did not make any such donation.