Dave's Hot 'N Juicy burger 'debuts' at Wendy's
By updating its 42-year-old classic, now available at 6,500 Wendy’s locations nationwide, the fast-food chain hopes to ditch its staid image.
Named after Dave Thomas, late Wendy’s founder, the burger features buttered buns, crinkle-cut pickles and extra cheese. Instead of white onions, the veggies are now red. The beef patties are thicker and still square, though burger designers considered shaking up Wendy’s tradition and going round.
Dubbed “Project Gold Hamburger,” the update effort plays into Wendy Co.’s larger push to catch up to McDonald’s and Burger King. The chain is also trying to stay ahead of emerging competitors such as Five Guys, whose 38% sales increase last year earned it the top spot on a list of fastest-growing chains compiled by research group Technomic.
This month, Wendy’s hired Emil Brolick, a former executive at Yum! Brands, as its chief executive. Commercials for the new burger star Wendy Thomas, the restaurant’s namesake and daughter of the founder.
Perhaps taking a cue from Burger King, which recently dethroned its creepy monarch mascot, the bizarre pigtailed man from earlier Wendy’s advertisements is nowhere in sight.
-- Tiffany Hsu