Wendy’s is introducing a remake of its 42-year-old hamburger, now named Dave’s Hot ‘N Juicy after late Wendy’s founder Dave Thomas.
The chain agonized over every detail, even enlisting the expertise of a pickle chemist and quizzing customers on their lettuce knowledge, reports AP.
Furthermore, executives embarked on a cross-country burger-eating tour during the process, named Project Gold Hamburger.
Starting Monday, the burger — with extra cheese, a thicker beef patty, a buttered bun, and hold the mustard, among other changes — will be served in restaurants.
Denny Lynch, a Wendy’s spokesman, said, “Our food was already good. We wanted it to be better. Isn’t that what long-term brands do? They reinvent themselves,” AP reports.
Executives from Dublin, Ohio-based Wendy’s Co., which boasts 6,600-restaurants, spent the past two and a half years digesting burger minutiae.
That included deciding whether to switch from white onions on its burgers to red (they did), to change the fat/lean ratio of the meat (they didn’t), or to choose plain or crinkled pickles (they picked crinkled), reports AP.
Wendy’s is trying to boost declining sales and fight growing competition from both heavyweight rival McDonald’s and expanding fast-casual chains like Five Guys.
Until now, Wendy’s hadn’t changed its burger since the chain began in 1969.
“We have a lot of catching up to do in some areas,” said Gerard Lewis, Wendy’s head of new product development, reports AP.
“But after we launch this hamburger there will be folks who need to catch up to us,” he said.