Fast Food Giant's Fries Are About to Be Transformed

Wendy's vows that its new french fries will stay hotter, crispier longer
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 27, 2021 9:02 AM CDT
Updated Aug 29, 2021 5:16 PM CDT
Fast Food Giant's Fries Are About to Be Transformed
Stock photo.   (Getty Images/sakura)

In recent taste tests, Wendy's french fries have done ... OK, but not great. Those mediocre rankings may soon change, as the fast-food chain has announced it's bestowing upon its fries what CNN Business calls "a makeover for the COVID era." Wendy's President Kurt Kane revealed to the outlet that the company has spent the last four years doing a deep dive into how to vanquish the "cold, soggy fries" conundrum, experimenting with nearly two dozen different potato cuts and batter-and-fry processes until hitting upon a system that keeps fries warmer and crispier than in the past.

"What we've done is balance the cut of the fry and kept a little bit of the skin of the potato on the fry to be able to drive flavor," Kane says, adding that the fries will also now be more fully submerged in oil using new, shorter fry baskets. Emily Kessler, one of Wendy's senior culinary specialists, elaborates on the design, calling it a "cut above" others. "One side is built with a thicker side ... for heat retention, while the other side is thinner, and that's really to enhance crispiness," she said in a Thursday presser, per Nation's Restaurant News.

Kessler adds the enhanced fries also will get a "whisper" of coating to aid with crispiness. The effort to keep fries in tip-top shape for longer has become increasingly important during the pandemic. Although consumers who acquire their fries via takeout or the drive-thru often start munching on them right away, those who get them via delivery services like DoorDash and Grubhub might not get to sample the wares for a while after they're made, "and Wendy’s wants to prevent soggy food disasters," notes the Takeout.

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The last time Wendy's put its fries through a design overhaul was more than a decade ago, when in 2010 it decided to leave the skin on its potato slivers and sprinkle them with sea salt. Before that, it had used the same fry recipe since its opening in 1969. The improved fries will be fully available in the US by the middle of next month. "They're going to notice a difference as soon as they taste it," Kane tells CNN, which notes a recent taste test had hungry participants choosing Wendy's new fries over McDonald's by a two-to-one margin. "The proof will be in the tasting." (More Wendy's stories.)

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