Chain: Arby's, Burger King, McDonald's, Taco Bell, Wendy's
Introduced: Wendy's, 1989

If the value menu was never invented, Sarah McLachlan would be singing sad songs over PSAs for hungry college students everywhere. When you talk about ideas that truly changed the fast food game, you have to start with the value menu, first introduced by Wendy's at the end of the '80s; it forced the major chains to introduce similar menus, marking down select items for binging on a budget. We wouldn't have the McDonald's Dollar Menu if Wendy's hadn't fired the first shot.

All fast food chains who carry this brilliant innovation should be commended for their public service.