Wendy’s is facing backlash online after Business Insider reported that a franchisee on President Donald Trump’s restaurant-recovery roundtable donated more than $400,000 to reelect the president.
In mid-May, the White House announced that Muy Cos. CEO James Bodenstedt would participate in the roundtable. Muy Cos. owns and operates hundreds of Wendy’s, Taco Bell, and Pizza Hut locations across the US, making Bodenstedt the first fast-food franchisee to publicly advise the White House on how to help the restaurant industry recover from the coronavirus pandemic.
Bodenstedt donated more than $440,000 to the president’s reelection campaign, Business Insider reported at the time. Most recently, in March, Bodenstedt donated $200,000 to the Trump Victory PAC.
News about the CEO’s donations resurfaced on social media this week. While Bodenstedt is an independent franchisee and Muy Cos. also owns and operates Taco Bell and Pizza Hut locations, Wendy’s has faced the brunt of the backlash.
On Tuesday morning, #WendysIsOverParty trended on Twitter, with thousands of tweets under the hashtag.soft burrito@klappito
*Me, clicking on #WendysIsOverParty*:
“Man, Wendys burgers r so goodWHAT HAPPENED”
*Seeing what they did*:
“TIME TO STAN BURGER KING YALL LETS GOOOO”
so you’re telling me wendy’s donated 400k to a billionaire… #WendysIsOverParty
wait, wendy’s is being cancelled too?!?! we just got spicy nuggs back man #WendysIsOverParty
Well . Looks like @Wendys supports #DictatorTrump. Shame I can never eat there again, I really enjoyed the 4 for $4.
Wendys supports a “man” who supports turning the military on us and systemic racism. #wendysisoverparty
Wendy’s and Muy Cos. did not respond to Business Insider’s request for comment.
Wendy’s CEO Todd Penegor has not made any donations directly to Trump or other politicians. According to Federal Election Commission filings, Penegor has donated only to the Wendy’s Company PAC.
According to Open Secrets, that PAC has donated to both Republican and Democratic congressional candidates in 2020 elections. However, it has contributed more to Republicans, including Sens. Mitch McConnell and Susan Collins, than Democrats, such as Reps. Lou Correa and Joyce Beatty.
Trump and the White House have faced criticism for giving executives friendly with Trump a platform during his press briefings. Trump donors who have publicly advised the White House on the restaurant industry’s recovery include Ray Washburne, the CEO of M Crowd Restaurant Group, and Tilman Fertitta, the CEO of Landry’s, which owns restaurant brands such as Bubba Gump, Del Frisco’s, and Joe’s Crab Shack.