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Hamburgers are now a special order item at Wendy's

Stopped by Wendy's this week for an "old fashion" hamburger. Much to my surprise, their menu board no longer shows a hamburger. When questioned, I was told I'd have to buy a cheeseburger and request they hold the cheese. Bye Bye......

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  1. I've seen other fast food joints do this, except when you order a hamburger, they generally just punch it in themselves as a cheeseburger minus cheese. When most people are looking for specialty burgers, it's easier/more compact to have a single "original" burger listed. They could easily put hamburger on the menu and have people request the cheese on it.

      1. Didn't it used to be that everything (well, at least the single/double/triple, etc) was listed plain and you had to add cheese? Or is that a Wendy's Canada thing? I'm sure they have looked at how many people order without cheese and have gone with the majority.

        1. Cheeseburgers seem to be the norm these days, I've had to ask them for a cheeseburger without cheese which is completely idiotic (same at McD's). The advantage is that they have to make it up fresh right then. My mom didn't like onions and got her burger freshly made by asking for one without, too.

          5 Replies
          1. re: buttertart

            "Freshly made" is a relative term these days when it comes to fast food. At McD in particular, the burgers are par-fried and microwaved anyway, so the best you'll get will be a burger that was more recently microwaved. Up until about 1995, you could do a special order (or "Grill" as they called it), and actually get a burger right off the grill. /end rant

            1. re: Steve Green

              This is why I blame McDonalds for everything that sucks in fast food burgers today. They became great at getting customers served in a minute or so, and others have followed. Burger King used to flame grill to order, and Wendy's had hot, fresh burgers, but now the American palate is dumbed down to faster is better at the expense of taste.

              1. re: James Cristinian

                Just as a note... the burgers at Wendy's are still grilled fresh to order.

                1. re: Boston_Otter

                  I think they are assembled fresh to order, but, dating myself here, they are not the same fresh grilled to order they were twenty five years ago, hot and juicy as advertised back then.

                  1. re: James Cristinian

                    That is a key distinction -- assembled-to-order vs made-to-order. I found out the difference when I had a burger at Sonic a while back. They had said the burgers were made-to-order, but they were clearly just assembled with precooked patties. Gross.

          2. I'm gonna go out on a limb here and guess that if you order "a hamburger", the person taking your order will say "do you want cheese?" to which you reply, "No thank you."

            It really is that easy.

            14 Replies
            1. re: Boston_Otter

              I'm a not very polite grumpy old man and would have said: " If I wanted a cheeseburger I would have asked for it". I don't suffer fools or foolish questions very well.

              1. re: mucho gordo

                Asking if you want cheese on a hamburger isn't a foolish question. Wendy's has been pretty straightforward about explaining that they've found that most people prefer cheese on their burger, so they've simply made it the default. It's extremely simple to ask for "no cheese", whether you're at McDonalds, Wendys, or Five Guys.

                1. re: Boston_Otter

                  Except, a hamburger doesn't have cheese. Cheeseburgers have cheese. Well, assuming that yellow, gooey cheese-like product they pass off as cheese can be considered as cheese.

                  Along that line, it has always annoyed me when the clerk would ask "do you want cheese on that?". Hello - did I order a cheeseburger?

                  1. re: Clams047

                    Exactly! Most places still offer the basic 'hamburger' on their menu. Even after I tell the clerk exactly what I want, they still manage screw it up mainly because they don't speak english well enough.

                    1. re: Clams047

                      Ok...I am going to come to the defense of the people who work at these burger joints. I would bet anything that they are forced to ask these questions as part of the job and are threatened with such things as the district manager coming by or secret shoppers or whatever and punishment when they don't comply with the script. I worked at Starbucks in college and was threatened with this sort of thing...believe me, I felt obnoxious when I had to ask customers ridiculous questions that most of the time I already knew the answer to - "no" or "no thanks"

                      1. re: Fromageball

                        Yes, at my local Whataburger, it is always, "Do you want cheese on that, or would you like a fried pie?" I know they have a job to do, and are probably subjected to tons of abuse, so I am always polite, and respond no thank you to all questions. Maybe it's because I've worked retail so long, but I am always polite to those in service industries.

                    2. re: Boston_Otter

                      Boston Otter, "It's extremely easy to ask for "no cheese," true enough, but the problem is actually getting no cheese. Back when I ate fast food regularly, it was next to impossible to get a quarter pounder without cheese, despite asking for no cheese three different times every time I ordered it, about an 80 percent failure rate. Wendy's was better but still terrbile, making an unwanted cheeseburger about 40 percent of the time. The wife and I do a Whatabuger every couple of months no problem, now if they would use actual hot jalapenos, another topic.

                      1. re: James Cristinian

                        if you want it "your way," i'd ignore the advertising and go to a regular (i.e.NOT fast food) restaurant.
                        fast food restaurants, by their nature, must have what is essentially an assembly line in place.
                        assembly lines don't do well with custom orders.. . . .

                        (as well as avoiding fast food restaurants, also avoid gjelina and father's office)

                        1. re: westsidegal

                          All I ask for is no cheese. Burgrer King can do it, so can Whataburger, but what's wrong with McDonalds and Wendy's. It shouldn't be too difficult, but it is. It really doesn't matter, I don't eat their crap anymore, just an occasional Whataburger, not crap.

                      2. re: Boston_Otter

                        Speaking of Five Guys, are they made to order? One just opened near by, Hear the FF are quite good.

                            1. re: Mother of four

                              Yes, you can even watch them cooking the burgers right behind the cashier.

                              1. re: Mother of four

                                Five Guys does not allow their grillmen to make burgers in advance, In fact the secret shopper's report specificalkly asks if any patties have been put on the grill ahead of orders to be geld ready to assemble when ordered.