Capn Design

Wendy's Redesigns Their Burger

I don’t know any Wendy’s faithful, beyond the Frosty, which is why it’s good to see they’re debuting a new version of their burger. While they could have added some guacamole or a fourth patty, they instead looked at the design of their burger. In fact, they took away more than they added.

Tasters said they wanted a thicker burger, so Wendy’s started packing the meat more loosely, trained cooks to press down on the patties two times instead of eight and printed Handle Like Eggs on the boxes that the patties were shipped in so they wouldn’t get smashed. And Wendy’s researchers knew that customers wanted warmer and crunchier buns, so they decided that buttering and toasting them was the way to go.

In the end, Wendy’s changed everything but the ketchup. It switched to whole-fat mayonnaise, nixed the mustard, and cut down on the pickles and onions — all to emphasize the flavor of the beef. The chain also started storing the cheese at higher temperatures so it would melt better, a change that required federal approval.

“It’s not about getting real exotic,” said Lori Estrada, Wendy’s senior vice president of menu innovation and packaging. “It’s about making everything work.”

I have no idea how it tastes, but I’m intrigued by such complicated systems and how simpler can often be better. The costs of change are magnified when you have thousands of restaurants. “They thought about making the tomato slices thicker but didn’t want to ask franchisees to buy new slicing equipment.” It may have made a slightly better burger, but not a better product.

[via Pat’s Picks]