Wendy’s testing customizable burgers

Chain joins McDonald’s in quest to bring fast-casual touch to QSR

Neither of them is known as the national burger brand that wants you to “Have it your way,” but now Wendy’s reportedly is joining McDonald’s in the race to bring customized, build-your-own burgers to quick service.

According to a report in USA Today, Wendy’s is testing custom burgers with a new operations process in two Columbus, Ohio, restaurants. The 6,500-plus-unit chain, based in nearby Dublin, Ohio, has spent much of chief executive Emil Brolick’s nearly three-year tenure trying to position itself as a “premium QSR” brand through its Image Activation remodeling initiative and menu innovation and marketing around products like the Pretzel Bacon Cheeseburger.

Wendy’s test of custom burgers reportedly offers customers a five-step process. According to a picture of the brand’s in-store point-of-purchase material shared on Twitter by QSR Magazine, guests choose a protein — either one to three burger patties or a home-style, spicy or grilled chicken patty — then a type of bun, type of cheese, and any sauces or toppings.

The pretzel bun is a bread option. At this time, other upscale bread options that had been features of recent limited-time offers, like ciabatta or brioche, are not offered in the test. Cheese options go beyond American cheese to include asiago, cheddar, blue cheese crumbles or a cheddar cheese sauce.

Among the toppings offered in Wendy’s test are jalapeños and sautéed onions, while the custom sauces include garlic aioli and asiago-ranch.

A build-your-own approach to burgers long has been the appeal of fast-growing, fast-casual chains like Five Guys Burgers and Fries, and Wendy’s is not the only quick-service brand to test whether it can be adopted in high-volume, drive-thru-heavy fast food.

McDonald’s also is testing “customizable” and “personalized” burgers at a “learning lab” restaurant in Southern California, but nobody should expect wider adoption of any such processes at McDonald’s until 2015 at the earliest, chief executive Don Thompson recently said.

On Oak Brook, Ill.-based McDonald’s second-quarter earnings call, Thompson stressed that any kind of sales-driving innovation, be it customizable burgers or a digital-ordering solution, would be developed over the course of 2014 on a “parallel path” to more fundamental parts of the business that need to be turned around, like operations, menu simplification, value and marketing.

“We have to make sure the foundation is strong enough to accept the digital innovations … and customization and personalization [of menu items] at the level we want to achieve at McDonald’s,” Thompson said.

For its June 30-ended second quarter, McDonald’s same-store sales in the United States fell 1.5 percent.

By contrast, Wendy’s back in May reported positive same-store sales for its first quarter and disclosed that it would accelerate its reimaging program to more than 400 remodels of company-owned and franchised locations in 2014, compared with 200 remodels last year.

Wendy’s is scheduled to report second-quarter earnings before the market opens on Thursday, Aug. 7.

 

Back

What Clients Say About Patrice & Associates

  • Doug's Hospitality Recruitment Skills Found a Job for Glenn!

    I cannot say enough good things about Doug. He was a joy to work with and if I ever need a recruiter I will call on him. Thank You, Glenn Davis   Have a Hospitality Recruitment Specialist work for you for FREE Doug's Hospitality Recruitment Skills Found a Job for Glenn!
  • Hospitality Recruiter "helped me land this job"

    I would like to say that I had the most wonderful experience working with Roberto. He was very kind and knowledgeable.  He helped me pick a company that was the right for for me. He was a helping hand throughout my entire process. I know I am the one who interviewed, but Roberto's  conversation and tips helped me land this job. I am so fortunate to have worked with Roberto. He was a wonderful recruiter.   Career Coaches that help you for FREE Hospitality Recruiter "helped me land this job"
  • Hospitality Recruiters Truly Care!

    My experience with Roberto was wonderful.  I have never gone through a recruiter before and Roberto was an amazing first experience.  Roberto was very helpful and walked the experience with me. I felt like he really cared and truly happy for me when I  got the job. I would definitely recommend Roberto to anyone who wants to feel like someone is going through the process with them he made me feel like he was genuine! Thank you Roberto! -Arleen Roberts   What kinds of jobs does a Hospitality Recruitment Specialist have for me? Hospitality Recruiters Truly Care!
  • Let a Hospitality Recruiter Find You a Job!

    My experience with Patrice and Associates has been the best experience ever,  while listening to my needs and making them happen has been a journey of wonderful opportunities. Thank you Daniel Avery. It’s been a blast working with you and you turned my mountain into a mole hill. -Joleen Phelps   How to work with a recruitment specialist Let a Hospitality Recruiter Find You a Job!
  • Hospitality Recruiters Can Help You with Your Resume!

    Ken Welch did an amazing job helping me find new job opportunities. He helped me build up my resume and even got me ready for potential interviews. He kept me updated constantly and before I knew it, I had many options of restaurants I could send my resume to. With his help, I got the job at my first choice and now I can’t wait to be their new manager. It was a very easy process and I thank Ken for all his help. Sincerely, Rich Fletcher   What kinds of jobs does a Hospitality Recruitment Specialist have for me? Hospitality Recruiters Can Help You with Your Resume!