How Wendy's Reinvented Its Burgers

New version will be thicker, a little less square
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 19, 2011 1:08 PM CDT
Updated Sep 24, 2011 7:25 AM CDT
How Wendy's Reinvented Its Burgers
Liz Shires, Wendy's research and development laboratory coordinator, works on assembling one of the new Dave's Hot 'N Juicy Cheeseburgers at the company's international headquarters in Dublin, Ohio.   (AP Photo/Paul Vernon)

(Newser) – Wendy’s classic burger hasn’t changed for more than 40 years—but with sales struggling and new competitors emerging, the fast-food chain finally decided it was time for something new. To that end, it has created the new Dave’s Hot ‘n’ Juicy burger, named for the restaurant’s founder, Dave Thomas, the AP reports. It wasn’t an easy task: Execs began working on the new burger in 2009, wrestling with crucial decisions like whether to use red or white onions.

The process involved a poll of more than 10,000 people’s hamburger tastes. Executives traveled the country sampling all kinds of burgers. Tasting volunteers tried each version of the new burger as researchers eyed them through a two-way mirror. They considered going round, despite Wendy's square-burger tradition. Finally, the restaurant ended up with a thicker burger, no mustard, butter on the bun, mayo, and ridged pickles. “We have a lot of catching up to do in some areas," says one exec. "But after we launch this hamburger there will be folks who need to catch up to us." (Read more Wendy's stories.)

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