Tag Archives: Wendy’s

Wendy's Lighting A Fire In Their Restaurant Brand

When you think of Wendy’s, your mind travels to a few standbys: a red-haired girl wearing an odd, “Little House on the Prairie” dress, Jr. Bacon Cheeseburgers, and the legendary Baconator. Thoughts may wander to their odd, greenhouse-styled fixtures, and you may lament the fact you get four chicken nuggets for a dollar instead of five now. Additionally, if you’re thinking of a Japanese Wendy’s, you’re likely thinking of some absurdities such as their Caviar and Lobster Ocean Premium Sandwiches.

Wendy’s wants you to start thinking of fireplaces, lounging, and flat-screen TVs, according to Eater. It’s a style reinvention of their restaurants that looks to go with their brand reinvention they are currently rolling out to all the restaurants. This “lounge”-style restaurant has hit 80 of the chain so far, and aims to have 200 by the end of the year, followed by 600 by the end of 2015.

For a chain with such a respectable and long history as Wendy’s (no major complaints, brand issues, or litigations), the chain’s attempts to update itself are purely to keep it in the mind of the consumer. The company has traditionally fallen behind McDonald’s and Burger King, and has never carved out a niche amongst premium burger places such as Smash Burger and Fatburger.

Wendy’s plan seems to turn the place from a restaurant that you drive through for lunch into a place where you plan to eat dinner. In some areas, this might be an harder task than expected, especially in places that know Wendy’s purely as a drive-through restaurant. The faux-leather seats, faux-fireplaces (in some of the restaurants, at least), and more redesigns offer a lounge atmosphere for those that’ll be near one of the newly remodeled restaurants.

Japan's Take On Wendy's

Wendy’s in Japan is a completely different beast than it is in America. Well, much of the product is the same… there’s just two locations. It’s less of a beast and more of mewling cat, but they’ve gotten a fair amount of attention for some of the promotional sandwiches they’ve done.

Standard Fare

Much of the standard stuff at Wendy’s in Japan is recognizable to Americans. Bacon cheeseburgers, chicken sandwiches, salads, Cokes, the infamous Chili, and even the traditional Frosty is in abundance.

Sweet Treats

The Frosty is in such abundances that they’ve stretched beyond what America has to offer. Waffle cones are a standard option in Japan, and even a strawberry Frosty (with whipped topping and strawberry glaze) is available. It took years for America to realize a vanilla Frosty would be delicious, and yet Japan’s leapfrogged us with a strawberry. If anything, Japan does not have the Strawberry Shortcake Frosty Parfait, Chocolate Frosty Shake, Classic Frosty Float, and Oreo Frosty Parfait that have recently shown in America. Sticking with traditonal Japanese snacks, though, is an Irina Rolled Cake. What, exactly, is a Irina Rolled cake? It’s actually hard to deduce, but it seems likely that Irina is a flavor or brand, and rolled cake looks as if a sushi roll was made with cake ingredients; cake replacing rice, filling replacing fish. It looks delicious.

Premium Eats

Japanese Wendy’s burgers go a little beyond Baconating. Fois gras rossini, avocado, mushroom gravy, and their classic chili top burgers tale the stage. While the Baconator does exist, and Japan’s tradition of making a shrimp patty is ever prevalent, two burgers breaking over $10 (in US money) have garnered our attention in America. Caviar & Lobster is the first, looking exactly like it sounds. Diced and sliced lobster with a dash of caviar on a hamburger bun will run you 1280 yen. Lobster Surf & Turf will toss the sliced lobster on top of a hamburger patty for the same yen.

There’s not too much in Japan that stands out, but given that there’s only two locations, Wendy’s doesn’t have a whole country to blanket with a few oddities. Still, if you find yourself in the country, go ahead and try the Caviar & Lobster burger, just to say you’ve had caviar on a Wendy’s hamburger.