Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Chains >
Sep 20, 2011 12:31 AM

Wendy's remaking burger

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. "They also started storing the cheese at higher temperatures so it would melt better, a change that required federal approval."

    They should go ahead and market this as the E-Coli Burger.

    I'm not much of a burger fan, but when I feel like one, Wendy's just isn't even on the radar. If I want cheap, I go to Checkers or McDonalds. If I want a ton of fries, I go to Five Guys. If I want nostalgia, I go to Roy Rogers. If I want upscale, there are dozens of places serving the gourmet stuff. There's just nothing to distinguish Wendys from Burger King from almost any other midrange chain burger.

    12 Replies
    1. re: monkeyrotica

      You would have to agree that no one has the burned taste of Burger King ... also the Wendys bun is different....

      But you are right.. without a distinguishing ingredient or quality .. Wendys is an also ran.. square burgers do not a better burger make.

      1. re: cwdonald

        True. BK burgers do have a char, but the buns are too Wonder Bread-ey and I find their coated fries inedible. I haven't been to Wendy's in at least two years. I recall the fried chicken being alright, but the burger was just really fatty. Not juicy, but heavy. I can't imagine, given the description, that the new burger is much of a departure. Certainly not something that will lure me back.

        1. re: monkeyrotica

          To say the BK burger is anyway like Wendy's is so off base.

          I was never a fan of Wendy's burgers, ever. In the past my reason for stopping at Wendy's was the frosty.

          While I didn't try the premium burger, yesterday I tried their value menu cheeseburger AND cheddaburger.

          Frist of all, skip the regular value menu cheeseburger.

          However ... that cheddaburger ... I may just be a fan ... but in the same way I'm a fan of the McRib ... there's nothing natural about this sandwich, but the surealness of it ... now that is something ... I mean that in a good way ... really.

          The cheese has this melted, nacho Velveeta quality. The burger, well, kind of soft and melty too. Again, I have no clue if the new premium burgers are similar.

          As to the new strategy ... they gotta get rid of those new fries or they will be going down in flames.

          These are the worse fries I've ever had at a fast food chain ... beating BK for ick. They are soft, limp and devoid of flavor.

          As mentioned in the article, the new burgers are comparitively expensive at $4.29 locally. Now Wendy's might get away with that with a combo meal ... but those fries are so dreadful I know I would never buy a combo there.

          Actually, I've been a fan of Wendy's lately. I really like their salads a lot. They are more creative and tastier than any other chain. They are actually edible and compare favorbaly with a lot of regular restaurant salads.

          Seriously, they should consider bringing back the salad bar. I stopped there a lot when they hda that.

          Actulaly they should go the adult route that other chains have gone with kids ... offer better alternatives to fries. If I had the choice of a side salad or fries with a combo, i might just make Wendy's my fast food joint of choice.

          Their summer promotion of the fresh lemonade, berry tea, berry parfait ... all great. They should be promoting those ... sepecially the fact that Wendy's is the only chain that had beverages WITHOUT HFCS.

          They also have a more varied value menu than other fast food places.

          I like the idea of the toasted bun. I'm waiting for a newspaper coupon to give the new premium buregers a try.

          Wendy's lately has healtier options than any other chain. THAT is what they should be promoting. The burger won't do it ... though if the cheese is similar to the cheddaburger ... well, who knows?

            1. re: Fibber McGee

              I've never been back since they gave up the salad bar.

            2. re: rworange

              At my local Wendy's, a side salad *is* a combo option. I thought this was chainwide.

              1. re: sablemerle

                I will have to check that out. I don't liked the fries and I don't drink the regular soft drinks, so I never looked closely at the combos.

                1. re: rworange

                  I haven't ordered fries in years, partially because of the fat content, partially because I'm not a big fan of anyone's fries. I always order a side salad as part of a combo at Wendy's. They do maybe the best fast food salads and as long as you watch the dressing it adds a small element of healthfulness to the meal. Also, I'm one of those people who prefer their salad NEXT to their burger, rather than on TOP of their burger.

                  You can also get a baked potato or chili as side options in the combo. The ability to choose something other than fries is one of the reasons that I keep going back to Wendy's. Bless them for getting that not everyone wants to eat exactly the same meal as everyone else.

                2. re: sablemerle

                  I thought it was too, I think you can get a "fruit" option too.. Not sure, I am going off the advertisement so who knows .. I haven't been to Wendy's for years

                  Once they start loading everything with bacon and chesse I got turned off

            3. re: cwdonald

              Why does the shape of the burger matter? I've often heard people express puzzlement about the square burger, but never understood why it's odd to them...

            4. re: monkeyrotica

              I'm surprised you feel that way. I think Wendy's burgers have always been the best burgers of the "fast food" group. Not that I'm a huge fast food eater but they always taste better to me when I eat them.

              I'm curious about the changes. They have to try something I guess.

              1. re: thimes

                I also thought Wendy's had the most realistic burger out of all the standard fast food chains. Mcdonalds and BK burgers seem too fake to me, even though I will crave mcdonalds once in a whiel. Until my area got a 5 guys (wich is a whole other topic) Wendy's was my go to FF place

            5. Interesting the only ingredient they removed was mustard. For example thats a signature flavor on the Quarter Pounder with Cheese from McDs. Wonder if that will make any difference, I am also not sold on switching to red onion.......

              1. I came on this morning, to see if anyone had tried this burger. I read earlier article that said they were going to change the fat/lean/etc ratio.. according to this article that got axed.. Hate to break it to Wendy's but that doesn't sound much different than thier other burgers.

                Like the toasted bun idea, but theory in fast food often outways practice ... I do want to try this burger.. Any NEW fast food item w/o a pound of bacon or just a 25% increase in size makes me curious

                11 Replies
                1. re: Augie6

                  I'm going to try it, but not right away, so if anyone else goes before me, have at it and report back.
                  I too have not eaten at Wendy's for years. I never minded that their burger meat was square, but I DID mind that it always tasted mealy, and with almost no flavor. I hope this new burger will have more taste.
                  But I loved that they seemed to have a lot of side options to go with their burgers. I happen to like a lot of variety, so I used to be one of those who would go with any combo that I felt like at the moment. I really appreciated that.
                  And I happen to be in the LOVE red onion crowd.

                  1. re: aurora50

                    Ok, I tried it today. These threads that go on and on ... and no one tries it.

                    It was too salty, but that might just be the luck of who was at the griddle.

                    I never liked Wendy's burger and it has to be at least 10 years since I had one of their regular burgers.

                    So .... if I never knew about the change, I might have just thought it was better than I remembered.

                    The veggies are the best of any burger joint ... the pickles tastier, there's that nice, thinly slicked red onion, decent tomato and a good enough iceber leaf.

                    The bun was ok, toasted as advertised. It was a classic fast food burger bun like McDonalds.

                    The butter taste didn't stand out which is good in a way. Except for the over-salting, all the ingredients balanced so one didn't stand out.

                    That is a good decision.

                    None of the fast food burger joints really has a good tasting burger. Burger King is the only one with a distictive flavor. Jack In the Box often makes the mistake of starring the meat which focuses on the lack of flavor.

                    So, like everywhere else, the burger at Wendy's didn't have much flavor, paired with all the ingredients the burger as a whole worked, IMO.

                    Again, if I hadn't read about it, I wouldn't have noticed the thicker burger, but I liked it. As to the irregular square shape ... yeah, I guess that was better. That perfect square burger in the past was always slightly disturbing for some reason. While it was sqquare ... it wasn't SO noticably square.

                    The cheese was fine, again ... no standout. There was lots of mustard on it which worried me that it might overpower it ... but nope .. it fit in with everything else.

                    There seemed to be a light smear of some sort of thousand island type dressing on the bottom.

                    Unlike in the past, I'd actually buy Wendy's burger gain. Not that it is amazing, but it is better for a number of reasons

                    - It is more filling.

                    - Nice veggies

                    - for a combo there IS a choice of sides

                    It wasn't as expensive as I thought - $3.49. I thought it was a decent value.

                    At least I no longer will be intentinally avoiding it. I guess focus groups work occasionally.

                    1. re: rworange

                      Dave's Hot 'n Juicy doesn't come with mustard:

                      "Dave's Hot 'N Juicy, named after late Wendy's founder Dave Thomas. The burger — with extra cheese, a thicker beef patty, a buttered bun, and hold the mustard, among other changes — will be served in restaurants starting Monday."

                      1. re: monkeyrotica

                        Must be the new soft cheese then. It looked like mustard.

                        1. re: rworange

                          I wonder if you got the new burger at all ....... those do not look like red onions.

                          I tried one last night too. Butter didnt add anything .. wish they would just grill the bun and leave it at that. I held the mayo because it doesnt belong on the hamburger IMNSHO. Pickles were evident but not in a bad way. Meat still was dry. The sign said thicker tomato but it wasnt noticeably. All in all a mediocre experience. They changed it.. not for the better or worse.. just change for change sake, which is in my opinion what most marketing is these days.

                          1. re: cwdonald

                            Actually I asked at the window to confirm this was the new burger. Yeah, those were red onions. I just was parked in the shade and the photos didn't come out that great.

                            I didn't think the burger was dry ... and I didn't use this word before because it really doesn't say it. I found it 'fluffy'. Maybe less dense or loosely-packed would be better.

                            As said, I think it was a marginal change for the better. The burger is more balanced now. That being said, again, if I didn't know about the change, I probably wouldn not have noticed ... only thought it was a bit better than my memory of it.

                            1. re: rworange

                              Thank You rworange!!! From the pictures I also wondered if you got the new burger as it looks the same as the standard burger. except for the cheese, which looks very close to mustard. Marketing once again seems to be the power behind the "new burger" , same ingrediants same burger. I do not see any valid change what so ever...

                        2. re: monkeyrotica

                          Nope. There is mustard on it now.

                          I didn't notice what it was called, but the burger had lots of mustard. Stuck my finger in it ... mustard, not melted cheese.

                        3. re: rworange

                          I had a buy one get one free coupon so i tried one today. I do think they are better than previous cheeseburgers. I like the red onions. The lettuce and tomato were just lettuce and tomato. I think the meat tasted more seasoned.
                          The pickles tasted more like a bread and butter pickle, Personally, I'd rather have dill pickles.

                          1. re: TroyTempest

                            Tried one today.

                            I agree with the rworange that it's salty.

                            And I would also rather have dill pickles. The pickles weren't sweet enough to be like the bread and butter pickles I'm used to, but then not sour enough to be a dill pickle. Just kind of in between and blah.

                            The bun didn't really seem any different than before. The other toppings, mayo, ketchup, onion, lettuce, tomato also didn't seem any different (maybe the onions used to be white onions, but that's not necessarily a flavour changer).

                            And no more mustard, which isn't a good thing (will they still have mustard on other burgers? I'd like to add it as a custom order).

                            So overall, neither more nor less likely to get me to go to Wendy's.

                            1. re: Sooeygun

                              I guess you can ask for mustarrd. For some unknown reason both times I had the burger it had mustard ... and I didn't ask. It was the same location.

                    2. Some folks never learn.... They switched from pressing the patty down with a spatula 8 times to only 2 times. How about NONE? Do any of you do this at home? It's completely wrong. All you do is press out the juices. They do it so the patty doesn't shrink to less than bun size.

                      I actually worked in a Wendy's 35 years ago - and I ignored the ultimatum about flattening the burger. I was subsequently moved to french fry station.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: sbp

                        only a moron flattens a burger. I'm with you

                          1. re: monkeyrotica

                            If they flatten it AFTER it's seen some time on the grill, they are wrong.

                      2. I had one on Saturday and really liked it. I didn't mind Wendy's old burgers, but rarely sought them out. The Dave's Hot 'n' Juicy (I had a double) was actually damn good by fast food burger standards, and certainly juicier than some dried-out, well-done husks I've paid more for in the past at Five Guys. Needless to say, it is expensive compared to the McDoubles that are one of my "I'm cheap and in a hurry" standards, but it was a lot better than those too.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Big Bad Voodoo Lou

                          I had one as well, just the single, no pickles (not my thing). Kinda interesting wrap job, in waxed paper, and then stood on end in light cardboard sleeve.

                          Sandwich was good, bun was buttered and toasted with just a little bit of griddle crispness. Good fresh veggies. I prefer Bermuda onion, so the red onions are a welcome addition. Two slices of cheese, probably would have them leave off one slice the next time (again, not my thing). Cheese was well melted from the outset, almost cheese wiz by the last bites.

                          I personally like the new fries with the sea salt, but they have to be super fresh. I usually ask to wait for hot fries.

                          For a fast food burger, it kicks Mc'ds and BK's butt, but the indie shops in Boston (Tasty Burger, Uburger, ect.) aren't worried