Dining

Why Wendy's Burgers Are Square—Or Used to Be, Anyway

The great fast-food mystery of our time has finally been revealed
Wendy's Square Burger Patties
Photo: Wendy's via Facebook

If you’ve ever wondered why the burgers at Wendy’s are square while all other burgers are round, wonder no longer. Our friends at Thrillist have gotten to the bottom of one of the greatest fast-food mysteries of our time.

According to Frank Vamos, director of brand communications for Wendy’s, the shape of the patty is a symbolic message that the company doesn’t cut corners. But there’s more to the story. Apparently, Dave Thomas was so proud of his patties that he wanted them to be visible and actually stick out of the bun.

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Case closed? Not so fast. As Business Insider points out, the Wendy’s patties aren’t so square anymore. When the fast-food chain merged with Triarc, Arby’s parent company, in 2008, the new company found that the shape of the burger was actually off-putting. Customers took the shape to mean the burgers were highly processed.

So three years later, Wendy’s debuted a new burger with a "natural square” shape with “wavy edges” to distance itself from the association with processed meat. The burgers also got thicker and the buns more crunchy. Sorry, Wendy’s, but your burgers will always be square to us.

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