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Wendy's is more popular than anyone ever realized

The red head-lead chain set to dethrone Burger King as number two fast food restaurant in the country.

Who knew Americans loved Wendy's so much? According to Mark Kalinowski, an analyst with Janney Capital Markets, the fast-food chain founded by Dave Thomas in 1969, will soon overtake Burger King as the second most popular fast food chain in the United States. McDonald's of course, holds strong at number one.

"We expect Wendy’s to overtake privately-held Burger King for the number-two market-share position within the limited-service hamburger sector, perhaps as soon as this year," Kalinowski reports

In an interview with The Orange County Register, Kalinowski credited the shift to Wendy's ve-vamped stores and the chain's focus on food quality. He also noted that innovations for the chain in 2012 include bakery items and specialty coffees.

What's behind this? Has the recession created an insane desire for spicy chicken sandwiches? Are people suddenly jonesing for the hard right angles of the square patty? Or is it just the raw magnetism of the phrase "artisan-style"?