Monday, September 19, 2011

Wendy's Doing Stuff

Many great things happened in 1969. Richard Nixon took office as President, showing the world that the shy, awkward kid could grow up to be a disaster in the White House. The Woodstock festival showed the world that poor acoustics and a complete lack of sanitary facilities were no reason to prevent tens of thousands of derelicts from spending a few days in a field. And the Wendy's hamburger chain showed the world that fast food could be good eatin'.

I'll admit to being a strong Five Guys partisan, but Wendy's really has nothing to apologize for. (Except their "milk shakes" which are basically just hard iced cream in a cup. Liquify that bad boy!) So it was with confusion that I read today about Wendy's revamping their signature burgers in response to the competition from higher end burger joints.

The hierarchy has always been as such:

1) Burgers: Wendys > Burger King > McDonalds
2) Fries: McDonalds > Burger King > Wendys
3) Chicken Sandwich: Chick Fila = McDonalds Premium Deluxe
4) Milkshake: McDonalds = Throatburn!

Now, that was some complicated math, but Good Will Hunting could probably explain to you (when he wasn't busy liking apples and getting numbahs) that each of the major chains has their competitive advantages over the others. If you value fries more than the difference between the value of burgers, you'll go to McDs. If burgers are your thing, and you don't mind fries that are lackluster, you go to Five Guys. And Wendys gets great points all around, for their fries are decent and the burgers superb. If they want to beat someone out, the goal should be to McDonaldize their fries (or maybe add some neat dipping sauces, or melt actual cheese on the fries, or add gravy?). Their burgers are not their weak point by any stretch.

But, I certainly won't complain when any eatery tries to reinvent and improve--this is of course how great things have happened (e.g., the Big Mac). So I welcome our new burger overlords.

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