The Real Reason Wendy's Is Revamping Its Fries Yet Again

When it comes to being a superstar in the fast-food industry, no matter how amazing your burger is nor how life-changing your chicken sandwich, there's one supporting player that can make or break your fast food game: the not-so-humble french fry. Okay, so cult favorite In-N-Out manages to get by with mediocre fries, but there's little doubt that McDonald's and Five Guys would have come quite as far as they have without putting out a superior fried potato product.

Wendy's has always tended to rank somewhere in the middle of the pack, fries-wise. Their fries are a serviceable side for your Baconator, but not really something you'd go out of your way for. In fact, the only really notable thing about Wendy's fries is the fact that they're surprisingly tasty when dipped in a Frosty. Well, "just okay" isn't good enough for Wendy's, so they've tweaked their fries a time or two over the years. The first big change came in 2010 when they started using sea salt and keeping some of the potato skin on in a bid to gain more foodie cred (via New York Daily News). Now, over a decade later, their latest reboot is all about making their fries even crispier.

What makes Wendy's new fries better than before?

Wendy's new "Hot & Crispy" fries are something that it's taken several years for them to perfect. Wendy's Vice President of Culinary Innovation John Li, speaking in a Culinary Spotlight Zoom event attended by Mashed, admitted, "This is probably the most complex project I've worked on in my entire career." While Wendy's new fries may not appear to be any different from the current fries on offer, they are cut ever-so-slightly different, dunked in a new "crispy coating," and fried in a shorter fry basket. As a result of such innovations, these new fries are said to retain both their warmth and their crunchiness for a longer period of time.

Although Wendy's new fries are only now being rolled out nationwide, they've evidently done quite well in the test marketing stage. A survey conducted by the chain showed that twice as many people prefer Wendy's new fries to McDonald's iconic ones. One person who obviously agrees with the survey results is this Twitter user who claims "McDonald's fries are so good, but @Wendys fries are SO much better."

The fries won't be the only new thing on Wendy's menu

During the Wendy's Zoom event, the chain also announced a new sandwich, the latest addition to its "Made to Crave" menu. The name of the product is a rather generic-sounding Big Bacon Cheddar Cheeseburger, and at first glance, it seems like pretty much the same sort of thing Wendy's has been offering for years. Wendy's may already be, as Wendy's Senior Specialist for Culinary and Product Development Jay Drumm puts it, fast food's "number one bacon cheeseburger destination," so why did they feel compelled to put out yet another such burger? Well, as Drumm says, this particular sandwich was "inspired by elevated Southern food, things like pimento cheese."

No, the Big Bacon Cheddar doesn't contain pimiento cheese, but what it does have is a cheddar-flavored bun, as well as beef patties and bacon (of course), American cheese, fried onions, and two kinds of sauce: one sweet and bacon-flavored, the other creamy and cheddar-based. This burger should be available at Wendy's nationwide by the end of the month, although we don't yet have details about price and nutrition.