The Secret to Wendy's Success: Round-ish Burgers

If you've eaten at a Wendy's fast food joint recently, you've noticed that their restaurants have a bit more customers. Indeed, Wendy's is set to outpace Burger King to claim the number two spot in burger sales (behind the behemoth McDonald's).

What's Wendy's secret? It seems like the company has graduated from asking "where's the beef?" to "what shape should it be?":

After struggling in third place for years, Wendy’s underwent a change in ownership in 2008, after which it spent a year and a half overhauling its menu. The brand undertook extensive consumer tests on every element of its dishes, from potatoes to pickle slices (it opted for crinkle-sliced over plain). One breakthrough came when Wendy’s executives realized that customers perceived their burgers as overly processed because of their square shape. Although they’re actually fresh, their shape was giving them a bad rap among the more discerning diner Wendy’s was trying to court.

Martha C. White of TIME's Moneyland blog has the story: Link (Photo: Paul Vernon/AP)

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I remember when Wendy's fried them up fresh. Not so now. Used to be served hot off the griddle. McD's used to also. Now it is all precooked, kept warm in a pan, if you add cheese it is enough that it takes all the heat out of the patty and you have a cold sandwich. And of course, you can't get good tomatoes anymore, so leave them out (ok Romas and grapes are ok, but must be too expensive for the chains).

What used to be barely acceptable is now at best just to fill you up. I think all the fast food places have gotten worse, if you can imagine that.

Funny beside, I worked at Mexican fast food place in HS, and they switched from TVP to pure beef, and the customers fell off.

John Farrier, LOL, what? You can only accept certain shapes in your mouth?
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I do not know what these people are thinking who wrote the article. The reason it got rounder is because they use never frozen beef cut in squares and recently the beef got much thicker so when it cooks of course it will get rounder. They did not deliberately make it rounder.

The reason they are doing better is because they went with thicker patties and better toppings. Their natural cut fries also helped.

But when I got I still usually get a plain Spicy Chicken with Lettuce and nothing else as no one has a better one.
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