Fast Food

Wendy’s Now Testing Build-Your-Own Sandwich Program


Wendy’s has always been a touch bougier than fellow burger-shillers McDonald’s or Burger King — what with its fancy pretzel buns and sea salted french fries — but now it seems the red-haired farm girl wants to go full fast casual, with a build-your-own sandwich test program out in Columbus, Ohio.

Like similar customizable platforms Smashburger or Five Guys, Wendy’s customers get their druthers from within five different categories: Proteins, Buns, Cheeses, Sauces, and Toppings. That is, single, double, or triple hamburger patties or homestyle or spicy breaded chicken patties; regular, pretzel, or no (“protein-style”) buns; Asiago, American, Cheddar cheese slices, blue cheese crumbles, or cheddar cheese sauce; mayonnaise, ketchup, mustard, honey mustard, bbq sauce, asiago ranch, or garlic aioli; and, finally, pickles, red onions, tomato, lettuce, spring mix, jalapeños, sautéed onions, and/or bacon. Most ingredients are included in the base BYO price, though some are available for a small upcharge.

Last year McDonald’s tested a similar concept in Laguna Beach, Calif. Wendy’s build-your-own sandwich program is currently only on trial at two locations in Columbus near Wendy’s HQ, though Brand Eating notes that any Wendy’s burger is customizable if you ask for it. Pretty sweet, but when can I order bacon in my Frosty?

H/T QSR MagazinePicthx Wendy’s

Fast Food

SPOTTED: McDonald’s Testing Build-Your-Own-Burger Concept


In the spirit of progress and bougie-fication, McDonald’s is currently testing a fast-casual Build-Your-Own-Burger concept at two locations in Southern California and Illinois.

Similar to BYOB chains such as The Counter and Smashburger, McDonald’s version allows customers their choice of bread, cheese, toppings, and sauces, as well as a small range of pre-set burgers for those who’d rather leave the creative stuff to the pros.

After reading about it on Brand Eating (via OC Register), FOODBEAST ventured to Laguna Niguel in south Orange County to try the concept ourselves. The newly redesigned, almost-too-swanky-to-be-a-McDonald’s, space was decked with BYOB signage and a green wall highlighting the custom iPad ordering system — a system which, oddly enough, was not connected to the main McDonald’s POS, and instead required employees with mobile tablets to copy our orders down, and then send them over to the main counter. These tablets, moreover, were not working when we visited, so everything had to be written down by hand. (But hey, that’s what tests are for, right?)


Here’s what we found.






For $5.79, you get your run of the following options:


Bread (both buttered and toasted):

  • The standard McDonald’s bakery style bun, or
  • A new egg-wash “artisan” roll



  • Natural sharp white cheddar,
  • Natural pepperjack, or
  • American cheese


Toppings (as many as you want, for no additional charge):

  • Guacamole
  • Jalapenos
  • Grilled mushrooms
  • Red onions
  • Grilled onions
  • Chili lime tortilla strips
  • Tomato
  • Lettuce
  • Pickles


Sauces (also as many as you want):

  • Big Mac sauce
  • Spicy mayo
  • Creamy garlic sauce
  • Sweet BBQ
  • Mayonnaise
  • Ketchup
  • Mustard



$1 more buys three strips of applewood smoked bacon, and $1.25 more gets you an extra burger patty. You can also order any of the toppings on the side to customize McDonald’s existing burgers for no additional charge.



Our creation was fairly tame, just American cheese, guacamole, grilled onions, tomato, lettuce, spicy mayo, and bacon on the artisan bun.


We also ordered the three pre-built burgers:


The SoCal Style, made with natural white cheddar cheese, guac, chili lime tortilla strips, tomato, lettuce, and garlic sauce on the bakery bun.



The Grill Thriller, made with bacon, natural white cheddar cheese, grilled onions, grilled mushrooms, and sweet BBQ sauce on the artisan roll



and the Hot All Over, made with natural pepperjack, jalapeños, tomato, lettuce, and spicy mayo on the artisan roll.


For dine-in orders, each burger is served open-faced in an aluminum basket. On request, you can also get the specialized to-go boxes, complete with BYOB branding.







Overall the burgers were fine, if a little misplaced, as though everything were a little too high quality to belong in a Mickey D’s. With all the proprietary signage and packaging alone, this concept is definitely not something we can see being adopted at a McDonald’s Wal-Mart. We even overheard someone exclaim after seeing the redesigned counter, “Oh no, this is going to make things more expensive. I mean, good for you, but bad for me.”

It also hurts a little that for $8 – 9, we still didn’t get fries with that.

What do you guys think? Would you buy an upscale, customized burger from McDonald’s? Or would you rather stick with your Quarter Pounders and Big Macs?


Top 10 Dating Trends for Foodies Across America, According to a Dating Site


Lucky for us hungry data gatherers, the folks at “offline dating” site HowAboutWe have just released a visual compilation of the dating network’s first 1 million dates recorded.

The results? Enough information for us to get an idea of top food dating trends across the United States, noting the top 10 cities in the country with the highest percentage of dining dates and a little bit about each. You can imagine our excitement when Philly cracked the top 10, and BYOB was a key selection when choosing a date in the city. It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia fans are proud today.

Here’s a look at the rest of the data:


1. Atlanta: ⅓ of all date ideas in Atlanta suggest getting a bite to eat. Artisan pizza is a hot trend.


Admittedly, when I think pizza, I think New York or Chicago. Yet while Atlanta isn’t the first thing on my mind when I think of wood-fired pizzas topped with fresh local ingredients, I’m not complaining. Kudos to all those singles feasting on gourmet savory pies.


2. Philly: BYOB date spots have a higher response rate than other dining dates in Philly.


Bringing your own PBR and Two Buck Chuck to your favorite Italian date spot? Stay classy my friends.


3. Boston: Bostonians are 3x more likely than average to suggest tapas on a first date.


Boston is known for its wealth of history and culture, so it’s no surprise that taking out a date for tapas, a Spanish tradition, is more common in this city. Note: In Spain, Tapas consist of appetizers usually eaten during the time between the end of the work day and dinner, as well as weekdays around noon. Tapas are seen as dishes that encourage people to socialize and mingle, so we can see why they’d be an excellent option for a date.

Picthx tapastryrestaurant


4. Austin: Food trucks are more popular in Austin than in any other city, accounting for 1 in 5 dining dates.


We can jump on this bandwagon food truck. Ranked as one of the World’s Best Cities for Street Food by Food & Wine, Austin steals the show when it comes to getting grub on wheels.


5. New York: New Yorkers love a progressive meal: 28% of their dining dates involve multiple stops.


New York restaurants alone bring in a projected $31.9 billion in sales and for a city famed for it’s vast collection of ethnic enclaves, we understand why it would be difficult to settle on just one spot.


6. Chicago: 1 in 11 dining dates in Chicago is veggie-friendly, the third highest in the country.


I suppose this means that Chicago is the place to be if you’re trying to find your veggie-eatin’ soulmate. Consequently, the Foodbeast Staff would probably be single for eternity if we lived there.


7. Los Angeles: There are more breakfast dates in Los Angeles than in any other city.


We’re thinking that this has more to do with late-night hookups making breakfast the default date of choice, than an actual preference for bacon and eggs. Hey, we don’t judge. There’s a reason LA alone has two Roscoe’s Chicken & Waffles.

Picthx Roscoe’s


8. D.C: Cupcakes are extremely popular in D.C., accounting for 1 in 7 of their dining dates.


Cupcakes are the top choice for eats in D.C, as 14.1% of dates involve feasting on this petite towers of icing. But really, who doesn’t like cupcakes? They’re like the bacon of desserts and if you don’t like bacon… smh.

H/T Our Kitchen


9. St. Louis: Going out for tacos is suggested 3x more often in St. Louis than in any other city.


Busch Stadium is the most popular date spot in St. Louis, because sharing a hotmess of tacos while cheering on your team screams sexy.


10. San Francisco: S.F. has more brunch dates than in any other city, accounting for one-third of their dining dates.


Apparently, San Francisco is chock full of genius singles. It’s about time we’ve recognized brunch as the most important meal of the day. When else is it socially acceptable to get boozy at 12 noon off delicious mimosas while simultaneously munching om french toast and gruyère sandwiches? SF, we see you.

Picthx Chow

H/T HowAboutWe