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Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California

Wendy's Burger Gets A New Look

Wendy's calls for food experts to revamp their classic burger.

(AP Photo/Paul Vernon)
(AP Photo/Paul Vernon)

Wendy’s combined the input of customers and scientists to create a new burger to rival McDonald’s and Five Guys. The result? Wendy’s Dave Hot N’ Juicy burger.

For Wendy’s, the face-lift to the 42-year-old burger was critical. Wendy is trying to boost sales to fight growing competition from rivals like McDonald’s and Five Guys.

According to the Washington Post, “the company has reported lower or flat revenue at restaurants open at least a year, a key measure of a company’s growth.”Wendy’s identified its problem with the menu, which had not been updated since 1969.

The transformation of Wendy’s classic burger was a long process of trial and error. The venture dubbed “ Project Gold Burger,”  had company executives meticulously redesigning  the classic burger for two and a half years.  Researchers experimented with different ingredients and portions, reports USA Today, by trying red onions instead of white onions and thicker patties. Every time a change was made, the experimental burger visited research firms around the country to receive feedback. In the end, everything was changed but the ketchup.

"It's not about getting real exotic," Lori Estrada, Wendy's senior vice president of menu innovation and packaging, told USA Today "It's about making everything work."

The burger, named after late Wendy’s founder Dave Thomas, debuted today at restaurants nationwide.

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