For the first time since the chain opened in 1969, the fast food restaurant Wendy’s has decided to change their burger. Unable to compete with McDonalds’ healthier-choice menu and new chains like Smashburger and Five Guys popping up, the company decided to reinvent themselves. The transformation didn’t happen over night, however. The process took 2 years with every detail examined, almost every ingredient changed, and tons of market research along the way. Among the many changes are a thicker patty, a toasted bun, crinkle cut pickles, red onions instead of white, and no mustard.
The question is will the risk pay off? Not only may consumers not like the changes made to a burger more than four decades old, but they may not like the price. Higher quality ingredients and a fatter burger mean higher costs. Last year Wendy’s also received numerous consumer complaints after changing to naturally cut sea-salted fries. If history is any guide, however, execs say after an initial resistance, those sales are doing better than ever. Time will tell if the change to Wendy’s Old Fashioned Burger will pay off.