Wendy’s will introduce a pretzel burger to its menu this year, part of the fast food chain’s strategy to expand beyond the everyday bun.
The pretzel bacon cheeseburger has already been tested in several markets, and now Wendy’s is expected to debut the premium-priced burger across the nation this fall. It is part of a campaign to focus on more bread options, including flatbreads and artisan buns.
“Five-star breads at a three-star price,” Gerard Lewis, Wendy’s senior vice president of culinary innovation, told Columbus Business First last year.
Wendy’s appears to be in an experimental mood of late. The fast food chain recently revamped the interior decor in 80 of its locations, introducing comfortable lounge chairs beside a roaring fireplace. Another 200 remodels are planned across North America later this year in an update to the 43-year-old chain’s brand.
The San Francisco design firm Tesser planned the new style, complete with faux leather chairs nestled beside a homey fireplace.
“The hearth at home is a gathering place,” said Tesser CEO Tré Musco. “It’s warm, it’s comfortable, it says stay and relax, as opposed to, this is fast food, get in and get out as quickly as possible.”
The revamp followed other fast food chains that introduced a more casual style, including McDonald’s, which added fireplaces, armchairs, and plasma televisions in several locations. In all McDonald’s spent a reported $1 billion on its overhaul.
The Wendy’s pretzel burger has already had a good effect on the company, even before its nationwide debut. Wendy’s Co. stock analyst Mark Kalinowski said the early results of testing for unique burger came back as well as “any Wendy’s test items from the last 20 years.”
Not all analysts see the potential in Wendy’s pretzel burger, however. Others have expressed doubts that a new pretzel bun will have that big of an impact on the company’s stock price in the long run.