This Is How A Fast Food Menu Item Gets Created, According To The CMO Of Freddy's - Exclusive

New fast food menu items can start off in a variety of ways. According to Thrillist, the process can take months or longer, and sometimes, new inventions take a long time to get off the ground. When the Doritos Locos Taco first hit menus at Taco Bell, for example, no one had ever seasoned a taco shell with Doritos powder before, and it had to go through multiple rounds of taste tests, examinations, and more trials before being put on a menu.

Burger and custard chain Freddy's is no different. Discussing their latest A1 steakburger in an exclusive interview with Mashed, CMO Laura Rueckel said, "It's a combination of an art and a science, and in this particular case, this was a burger that had been around a few years ago, when I talk about [the reasons for] bringing it back."

Rueckel also explained the finer intricacies of creating a winning fast food item that has the power to resonate with a wide audience. All things considered, the process generally follows a typical timeline and everything starts with knowing what diners really like on menus.

A deep look into how a fast food burger gets brought to menu

"It all starts with guest insights," Rueckel continued about the process to bring a fast food item to the menu. "We're looking at what people are buying. We're looking at trends in the culinary space." For example, she points to spicy foods, which is a trend that isn't going away any time soon. "That's partly why we, last fall, brought the jalapeno burger back. It sold like hot cakes. It's now a permanent menu item. [We're] constantly looking, [and] you got to start with your insights, your guest data on what people like and then you combine that with what's right for our brand."

Because, even if it's a prominent flavor trend, it doesn't necessarily mean that it will fit with Freddy's as a brand. Said Rueckel, "Freddy's is a very family-centric community [of] delicious steakburgers, our shoestring fries, custard. It's just that. We want to make sure that anything we put out is aligned with who we are." The other thing to keep in mind, is the execution has to be possible. "We do have 400 locations, and we literally opened four restaurants two days ago, all in the same day, which is not something that always happens," she added. "We're opening a lot of stores and we're growing real really fast, and you've got to make sure that at the end of the day, all of it can get executed. You can't over complicate it."

Freddy's A1 Steakburger and a new custard float can now be found at all Freddy's locations.