Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Chains >
Oct 27, 2007 03:41 PM

Why is Wendy's so much better?

or why can't other chains be more like Wendy's?
I order my 1/4lb or dble 1/4lb with no mustard or pickles. made fresh their hamburgers are very juicy, they are even moist and softer in the middle (as in like med-well, not burnt discs) .

is it just me? i can't stand anything else from a hamburger chain, but i crave these things, only downside is the salt levels common to all fast food.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. For a chain, Wendy's is very good. I usually order the double w/o onions. Way better than McDonald's and Burger King. Five Guys, which just moved into New Jersey within the last year, is even better. Both of these places use fresh meat rather than frozen. Five Guys fries are fried twice in peanut oil.

    2 Replies
    1. re: hotdoglover

      Hope the 5G stays good in Jersey. Here in DC where they originated, it's hit-or-miss.

      1. re: monkeyrotica

        Five Guys is great in Philadelphia; which surprised me, as I wasn't thrilled by the first one I had been to in VA.

    2. Love a Wendy's double. So juicy, and their rolls are great. I wish everybody served Micky D's fries, but oh well.

      1. I have to comment on this. I have noticed a steady decline in the quality at Wendy's over the years. The first things to take a hit were the fries. I remember them being much bigger, but I slowly accepted the change. Now, the burgers are suffering. The buns have gotten much worse tasting more "doughy" and having nearly no flavor. The patties are still pretty good with decent toppings, and the nuggets and Frosties are still above par. Compared with the competition, they still come out on top, but they I will no longer go out of my way for a Big Bacon Classic.

        9 Replies
        1. re: Sacto_Damkier

          Last time I visited you could no longer get the Big Back Classic, they replaced it with that Baconator monstrosity. This may have (hopefully) changed by now... I haven't had the desire to return after finding about the change.

          1. re: summeranne

            At the Wendy's I frequent you can still get the Big Bacon Classic, you just have to ask for it.

          2. re: Sacto_Damkier

            I agree completely that they've gone down hill. It seems (though it may just be in my head) that it started when Dave Thomas died. Since then the tenor of the ads have changed, the service I got in various restaurants has been far poorer and the food itself hasn't been as good.

            I like them only for their spicy chicken and chicken nuggets and the last time I got a spicy chicken, the lettuce and tomato were so comically bad that I'm not sure it's worth the time. On the upside, they do put two slices of cheese on it when you ask.

            I would still choose them if I were in a pinch and if In N Out Burger wasn't nearby and if I didn't feel like just getting the good fries and a coke from McDonalds. Overall, I honestly forget Wendy's is out there as an option....and two years ago, my wife and I ate way too many chicken nuggets.

            1. re: ccbweb

              I used to enjoy their chili, but the last time I got the "dollar" version it cost $1.20, came in a cup that was only 2/3 full, and had next to no meat.

              1. re: Emm

                I had the occasion to have Wendy's chili twice last week but at different locations. I've had to break my "nothing from a place that has a window" rule a lot lately. Anyway, at one place the chili was watery with one stingy particle of beef in it. I thought it was more like soup (vegetarian at that) than chili. At the other place (thankfully near my office) it was thick and meaty. Both were dollar versions. Maybe it depends on the batch or the location?

                1. re: SweetPea

                  Another good example of the decline. Wendy's Chili also USED to be great, but it too has taken a downturn over the years. I also remember the salad bar and better potatoes. One would think that a restaurant would have to improve quality over the years to compete, but I guess the dollar menu craze has taken everything down.

                  1. re: SweetPea

                    Yeah, the quality does vary. I swore off buying the chili from one nearby location a couple years ago. However, the latest substandard chili came from a place that up till now has been pretty good. I'm afraid it's just a downhill trend :(

                2. re: ccbweb

                  You are right about the downward spiral since Dave Thomas died. I even actually liked his commercials. He seemed like a decent, accessible guy. It was like along the lines of watching my own dad in a commercial, no clowns or kings, just someone comfortable and genuine. (And admit it, is the Burger "King" not the most disturbing thing you've ever seen in a commercial?)

                3. re: Sacto_Damkier

                  Wendy's has gone WAY downhill since Dave Thomas died. Not only has the quality of the burgers suffered, but they've gotten much smaller while the price has climbed. $3.49 for a basic single hamburger? F-ck that! Dave would be ashamed and embarrassed at what has become of his company. I rarely go there anymore.

                4. Even though the end product can only be as giod as the ingredients, I've discovered that strong management can make or break a specific location.. When it first opened, the local Wendy's was great for what it was: We used to enjoy their limited salad bar. (Discontinued a long time ago). Then things went downhill very rapidly. The food was cold, poorly put together and a trip through the Drive thru always resulted in missing items., no condiments, no straws, no plastic ware, wrong salad dressing, etc. As a stock holder,I contacted the company and received a request for detailed information, along with a personal letter of apology and a promise to investigate.. ABout 4-6 weeks later, I received another letter, informing me that the Co had resumed control of the franchised location and they encouraged me to give it another try, via a number of free and bogo, coupons . I was aware that some of the locations were Co owned and some were independently owned and operared franchises but I didn't know it was a factor in how they were managed. The difference was dramatic. I hadn't even realized how many things were bad until I saw how much better the place looked and ran. Now it's fine. The dtaff is coordinated, the Mgrs seem involved and concerned and business seems to have picked up. As for the quality of the food... Someone once told me to try eating fast food cold and I'd never, ever eat it again, so with that caveat I stick to their salads and the occasional vanilla frostee which is already cold :-}

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: Tay

                    Management indeed makes a difference. Our local McD used to be superb because of the manager - every time we went, he would be hustling alongside his employees, making sure they were happy and the customers were happy. Everyone was friendly, energetic and when a car had to pull over because of a delay in the takeout window order, the employees would literally run the order to them. Then the manager left and as you can imagine, everything went downhill. We don't even go there anymore. When the service was good I wrote a complimentary letter to McD and the franchise owner contacted me and gave me some free food coupons. When the service went bad I again wrote a letter but this time never heard a thing. It's a shame that corporations don't monitor their franchises more closely and that franchise owners don't monitor their managers more closely. It makes a ton of difference. I keep saying this but it seems to me that McD has the highest proportion of poor managers and uncaring franchise owners among all of the major chains. Sad.

                    1. re: monkuboy

                      From my experience, I think that for the major national chains the proportions seem about the same. I've been in fabulously well run McDonalds and horribly run ones (in the same town, actually); but, the same is true of Wendy's, Taco Bell and KFC. In fact, the same is true of Quiznos and Subway as well. There are good manager who know how to run a restaurant and work hard and there are bad managers who neither know how to run a restaurant nor work hard. Of course, there are also people all over the spectrum. I don't think it's specific to one national chain.

                      1. re: ccbweb

                        I used to work at a Keg restaurant in Toronto (a mid-level steak and seafood chain). When I started, we had a manager who wasn't too proud to grab a broom and dustpan when a guest dumped a load of salad at the salad bar, even though he was wearing a 3-piece suit. The restaurant rocked when he ran it. Too bad he left to start up his own place. His replacement liked to stand around and look imperious, and when similar dropped plates occurred he would stare at the nearest waiter and say "Get a bus boy". The place went downhill quite quickly.

                  2. IMHO, the only thing worth eating at Wendy's is a Frosty. Weird sauces on everything... ick.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Oh Robin

                      Now there is the vanilla oreo cookie thing, I have to cringe before hitting "post" and go get one.