Why Are Wendy's Hamburger Patties Square?

Wendy's says it's because it doesn't "cut corners," but what's the real reason?

Wendy's Hamburger
Photo: Wendy's/Allrecipes

From its one-of-a-kind Frosty to its freshly made salads, Wendy's is known for deliciously innovative menu items. We all know that Wendy's uses fresh, never frozen, ingredients to make its hamburgers — but have you ever looked at a Wendy's hamburger and wondered why it's square instead of round?

We know, looking at your hot and juicy hamburger before digging in may be a difficult task, but we're sure you've noticed the meat sticking out of the side of the round bun before. And there's a reason it's like that (multiple reasons, actually).

Why Are Wendy's Patties Square?

It dates back to before Wendy's even existed. Dave Thomas was trying to break into an oversaturated fast food market filled with hamburgers. At the time, McDonald's alone was selling over 2 million hamburgers every day, according to The Food That Built America on History.

Thomas knew he needed something that would set his hamburgers apart from the competition. He decided that while all the other fast food joints were using frozen burgers, he would use fresh ingredients and make the burgers onsite daily. Not only that, but he would also make the burgers square so the customer could see the oversized patties spilling out of the bun.

Even though Wendy's is famous for its square burgers today, Thomas wasn't the first person to come up with this concept. In fact, he took the idea from a restaurant where he worked before Wendy's. He liked that the customers could see the beef patty and its quality ingredients.

Additionally, Thomas chose the square patties because he could fit more hamburgers on the grill at one time. The square patties allowed him to line the grill and get a bunch of hamburgers out quickly so Wendy's was able to keep the fast in fast food.

When Wendy's first opened its menu only included hamburgers, fries, soft drinks, Frostys, and chili, so Thomas was putting a lot of faith in his square burgers. Especially because Wendy's "old-fashioned hamburgers" cost three times more than the competitors. But Thomas believed the customers would pay more for fresh, quality ingredients, and he was right considering that Wendy's is one of the biggest fast-food chains in the world.

While what Wendy's says about not cutting corners when it comes to its food might be true, there's a much bigger meaning behind those square burgers that we love so much.

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