A Value Menu That's Actually a Good Value

A Value Menu That's Actually a Good Value

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A Value Menu That's Actually a Good Value

When someone’s good, The Food Channel believes in saying so. This is not a paid announcement; this is not solicited. It comes out of our never-ending commitment to keep up on the latest in food and food trends. Our Test Kitchens are full of samples, and we regularly go out to grocery stores, delis, bakeries, farmers markets, restaurants and anyplace where food is available to see for ourselves what is going on. And, of course, we taste. Our editorial staff can’t walk by a chef without hearing “taste this.” It’s just what we do.

So, when we hear that someone has come out with a new item, we’re first in line. And we have to say Wendy’s has stepped it up.  

Wendy’s has a new 99¢ Everyday Value Menu that offers seven popular food items. We’ve looked at the menu, tasted the food, and compared the sizes, variety and quality. The newly expanded Value Menu includes a Double Stack with two junior hamburger patties, a chicken sandwich, chicken nuggets, a small frosty, a baked potato, french fries and soft drink, each for under a dollar, making Wendy’s responsive to the current economy. And, the other items on the menu are stepping up to the same quality and value.

“Their bacon cheeseburgers are good,” says our Culinary Editor, Judy Sipe. “They are using quality bacon and fresh ingredients. And the salad—always an indicator of freshness–looks and tastes good. They are using whole leaf lettuce and quality tomatoes.” (Note: Adding bacon and cheese to the burger brings the price to $1.29)

“A value menu is usually about ‘belly full’,” says Chef Gail Cunningham. “Wendy’s has managed to crack the code on the way people want to eat today. They want better food, with portion control. Better quality, smaller amount.” And lower price.

Wendy’s first introduced its 99¢ Value Menu 20 years ago. So maybe it’s the practice that makes it perfect.

It’s one thing when a chain makes a claim. Wendy’s claim is, “We deliver quality fresh food with real ingredients that provide the best tasting fast food.”

It’s another thing when they live up to it. As they say in the Wendy’s TV commercials, “You know when it’s real.” This stuff is real. And a good value.

Our chef hats are off to Wendy’s.

This just in…

Just this week, Wendy’s has begun rolling out an upgrade of the company’s french fries, remaking them with Russet potatoes, leaving the skin on and sprinkling sea salt on top. It’s another effort to win over more fans with “real” ingredients. This is the first major overhaul of the 41-year-old company’s fries, although it has tweaked the recipe in the past.

The new fries are a bit slimmer than the old ones, and crispier because they’re smaller. They will have more salt; a medium size fry goes from 350 milligrams to 500 milligrams, and calories go up 10 to 420. The selling price will not change, ranging from 99¢ to about $2. The fries will still come to stores frozen.

The new skin-on fries should be in all Wendy’s units before the end of November, the company says. We’ll be sure to give them a taste when they’ve arrived in our neck of the woods–and we’ll be sure to let you know what we think.

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