In an effort to avoid not being beat down by the King and a Clown everybody’s favorite red headed step child, Wendy’s, is trying to re-invent itself.
Starting late last year the burger chain came out with a line of new burgers that look an awful lot like the ones you might see at a Denver fast food joint, Smashburger. They also tweaked their fries with sea salt and claiming to be “natural cut”. What does that mean? Are shoestring fries unnatural? How about tots? Don’t tell that to Napoleon.
Back to the burgers. They are calling them Dave’s Hot ‘N Juicy Cheeseburgers. How can they claim that? Dave has been dead for years.
Don’t get me wrong. I loved Dave. I thought he was pure genius. His down home folksy style reminded me of my own grandpa. But therein lies the problem. People that eat fast food don’t want to think about their grandpa when they are sitting down to grub.
They are still trying to re-invent the wheel at the place that plays Bon Jovi’s Living on a Prayer on the overhead speakers and the quaint tables for two. This month they released even more choices with offerings such as chili cheese fries, Mac ‘n cheese and sweet potatoes with cinnamon butter.
All of this sounds great. Doesn’t it?
The problem is Wendy’s has never been cool. When you were a teenager did you and your friends hang out at Wendy’s? I doubt it. It was the place that the middle age crowd went to eat to feel a little less square. Pun intended, for sure.
How could a place be cool that once supported a full salad bar? How could it be hip when in the 80s the burger chain made their pimply faced teen work force wear polyester baby blue and white striped shirts and those hats you might see in and old black and white movie about golf. You know the ones. The hat that sort of folds down in the front and snaps with a little button. Like a L.L. Cool J. lid but a whole lot less fly.
How could a place be cool that doesn’t have a playground for kids and their happy meals, or whatever they are called, featured toys from obscure movies nobody ever goes to see.
How could a fast food joint be cool if you are more likely to find grandma than your next main squeeze?
I’m sure the marketing geniuses behind the place that Dave built thinks they are doing a great job. Are they? I don’t know.
Let’s take the up and coming metropolis of South Central Alaska. At my count there are only three Wendy’s and at least 30 Mickey Ds and Kings. Maybe we have a different “taste” in fast food up here. Maybe we are just comfortable getting our 128% of our daily allowance of fat, sodium and sugar at places that we can take our kids.
My vote is for Chick-fil-A. That is something that we don’t have up here.
Do you go to Wendy’s? Why or why not?