Wendy’s Fresh Beef: A History Lesson on Deliciously Different

Picture this: Richard Nixon takes office; The Beatles perform on the rooftop of Apple Records to an audience dressed in fringe, vests and flared pants; and in between trips to the moon by Apollo 11 and 12, “The Brady Bunch” premieres on TV.

The year is 1969… and Dave Thomas is searching for a real hamburger made fresh. When he couldn’t find one for a fair price, Dave embarked on the opportunity to open his own restaurant in Columbus, Ohio, naming it after his 8-year-old daughter, Wendy.

Starting Day 1 in 1969, Dave built his restaurant on the promise that “Quality is Our Recipe” – beginning with fresh beef. And now, Wendy’s Fresh Beef tradition continues, never cutting corners on taste or quality.

It’s what made us and kept us Deliciously Different from the competition for nearly 50 years.

Jump ahead to 2017 when our golden arched competitor (ahem, McDonald's) announced tepid plans to update only one of their many burgers from frozen to fresh meat. As a proud server of fresh, never frozen beef in every hamburger, every day, we couldn’t stand for this and reminded consumers that no one does fresh beef like us.

 On Twitter, Wendy's asks McDonald's to clarify that they will still use frozen beef in most of their burgers in all of their restaurants (March 30, 2017).

On Twitter, Wendy's asks McDonald's to clarify that they will still use frozen beef in most of their burgers in all of their restaurants (March 30, 2017).

WENDY’S FRESH BEEF LEGACY

It goes without saying that as Chief Concept and Marketing Officer, it felt great to insert Wendy’s fresh beef legacy into an announcement made by our biggest competition – not even those who serve billions come close to delivering what we’ve been doing for years.

We don't blame them for wanting to give customers what they want: FRESH BEEF. But here’s the thing, the competition is not even on our same playing field with their halfhearted announcement marking their intent to serve fresh beef. 

Wendy’s fresh food supply chain has been in place since our beginning, making fresh, never frozen beef deliveries to Wendy’s restaurants between 12,000 and 18,000 times every week. No other fast food chain, comparable to our scale and footprint, is delivering this standard of quality at the rate and consistency we are.

WE’RE NOT A RESTAURANT TO FLASH FREEZE OUR BEEF

Now, flash forward to flash frozen. It’s 2018, present day, and we’re jumping on some of the biggest stages (Super Bowl Commercial, X Games appearance, NCAA Championships) to prove that frozen beef isn’t what you should have to settle for in your hamburgers.

Think of it this way, do you throw a frozen beef patty on the grill? I know I don't because I will not shortcut my way to a great tasting burger. I believe the juiciest hamburgers are crafted with fresh beef, just like we do at Wendy's every day.

WHY DO OTHERS FREEZE BEEF?

We can’t speak for competitors, but maybe because fresh is harder to deliver. Maintaining our high standards for high quality beef does present a few obstacles, like a shorter shelf life than frozen beef, increased difficulty building and maintaining inventory, multiple weekly deliveries, and the need for a more robust system to monitor the temperature of the fresh beef throughout its journey in the supply chain.

But we do it, and have done it since forever, because a delicious hamburger is well worth the effort.

We don’t want anyone to have to sacrifice their hard-earned money on eating beef patties that were once frozen. 

2018 will be a big year for us as we continue to firmly cement our status in hearts and minds of the entire world when it comes to knowing that, at Wendy’s, you’ll always get a fresh, never frozen, delicious hamburger.

Fresh beef available in the contiguous U.S., Alaska and Canada.
McDonald's is a registered trademark of McDonald's, Inc.
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