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Category Archives: wendy’s

10 gross reasons why fast food needs robot workers

taco-bell-licking

The other day I wrote about how surprising it was that robot Zambonis aren’t yet widespread. Even more amazing is the fact that fast-food joints aren’t yet entirely staffed by robots.

It seems like a new tale of fast-food employee grossness emerges weekly, with the latest involving a KFC worker in Wales who claimed on Facebook to have inserted pubic hair into customers’ meals. KFC said it had investigated the incident and found it to be untrue, but the damage was already done.

Such incidents, many of which turn out to be real indeed, are almost a form of corporate terrorism. While it’s highly unlikely that the average customer will ever get a meal contaminated with pubes, boogers, spit or other bodily fluids, hearing about such isolated cases is enough to sour perceptions and put a person off fast food entirely.

With employees of such chains around the world expressing anger over their low wages, it’s also likely these incidents will continue and possibly even increase in frequency. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on June 4, 2014 in Burger King, domino's, food, mcdonald's, robots, taco bell, wendy's

 

2013: The best (and worst) in fast food

wendys-pretzel

Wendy’s Pretzel Bacon Cheeseburger: Yes, please.

It was a fun year for fast-food, if quirky new menu items are your idea of fun. In their never-ending quest to outdo each other, the big chains kept customers guessing with a steady raft of new concoctions, some better than others.

I sometimes get asked why I write about fast-food, since technology is my main purview. I generally give one of three reasons. For one, it’s something of a holdover from Sex, Bombs and Burgers, the book I wrote about how the military, pornography and fast-food industries are technology leaders. I don’t write as much about the other two businesses these days, but fast-food has strangely proven to be a popular topic with readers. I can also justify it with the notion that all these new products come through similar research and development pipelines as smartphones, tablets and other gadgets. Mostly, though, I write about fast-food as the occasional diversion – it’s nice to take a break from the routine every one in a while. As such, I’ve made it my mission to try the big new releases. I’m happy to report that I got to most of them this year.

McDonald’s had a busy year, especially here in Canada. The company finally gave vegetarian Canadians something to eat this summer with two veggie wraps. Coming in two flavours – spicy Santa Fe or garlicky Mediterranean – the wraps are sizable and pretty tasty (my vegetarian wife, normally a harsh critic of such things, approves). Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on December 27, 2013 in Burger King, burgers, food, mcdonald's, taco bell, wendy's

 

Review: Wendy’s pretzel burger is almost gourmet

wendys-pretzelYou have to hand it to these fast-food chains for their continued creativity in coming up with new, bizarre concoctions. The latest is Wendy’s and its Pretzel Bacon Cheeseburger, which packs its oddness right into the name. Bacon cheeseburger – okay, we’re on familiar ground there. But pretzel? What the heck is that all about?

Like many kids, I experimented with combining foods when I was younger. It probably started with putting a hot dog on – gasp! – a burger bun, and progressed to more ill-conceived efforts, like making Kraft Dinner with mustard instead of butter. But never did I think to involve pretzels. That’s probably because the full, regular-sized ones are kind of hard to get, outside of carnivals and New York City.

It’s also why Wendy’s newest creation is particularly ingenious. Using a pretzel instead of a bun is one of those “why didn’t I think of that?” inventions, an attempt that is both somewhat natural-feeling and curiosity-inspiring at the same time.

I usually approach the trying of these new fast-food beasts with at least a little dread, but this one was different. I had an unusually good feeling about this one as I sat down to eat it… and it paid off. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on July 8, 2013 in food, wendy's

 

Review: Wendy’s flatbread surprisingly tasty

wendys-flatbreadIt’s time once again for “I tried it so you don’t have to” theatre here on the blog, this time starring Wendy’s new Flatbread Grilled Chicken Sandwich. I’m pleased to report, however, that the second part of that intro isn’t actually necessary: the new fast-food concoction in this case is really quite good.

The new sandwich went on sale in North America on Mar. 26 and is sticking around for a limited time, until the end of May. Wendy’s is actually offering up two options: the Asiago Ranch features grilled white meat chicken, spring mix, tomatoes, Asiago cheese, bacon and a creamy ranch sauce. The Smoky Honey Mustard is the same, but without the bacon and with – naturally – a honey mustard sauce. Both come in a toasted five-grain flatbread.

Me likey the ranch sauce, as well as bacon in general, so I of course opted for the Asiago option. My first impression upon seeing it in its wrapper was that it was a little smaller than I expected. In a society that’s struggling with obesity levels, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. I thought, hmm, a decent-sized meal for a change – that’s good! Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on April 12, 2013 in food, wendy's

 

Wendy’s rolls out caviar and lobster burgers

Regular readers know I’m somewhat duty bound to try new fast-food creations, which has led me to ingesting monstrosities such as KFC’s Double Down and Burger King’s Bacon Sundae. It was with horror, then, that I learned of Wendy’s new lobster and caviar burgers.

Yes, it’s true. The $16 burgers are available for a limited time only in Japan, which ordinarily might save me from my bizarro obsession, except that I’m planning a trip there relatively soon as part of the research on my next book, Humans 3.0. I’m dreading it because I loathe all forms of seafood, but the idea of a caviar burger seems too rich to pass up, if you’ll pardon the pun.

Ironically, my trip is going to revolve around studying life-extending technology. Japan, and especially the island of Okinawa, you may know, has some of the longest life expectancies in the world, largely thanks to healthy diets. It’s safe to say they got there by avoiding the likes of Wendy’s.

 
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Posted by on August 9, 2012 in burgers, japan, wendy's

 

Road testing Wendy’s poutine

As a self-proclaimed poutine maven, I’m a little ashamed that it took me so long to try Wendy’s offering. I’m always keen to try the fast-food giants’ efforts to see if they match up with the really good stuff served up at smaller restaurants, so what took me so long? I dunno – maybe it’s just been too warm out to eat poutine? Yeah, right. Like it’s ever too warm for that.

Anyhow… first, the good. I’m pleased to report that Wendy’s poutine is entirely edible. That may sound like faint praise, but it is a compliment compared to what some of the other chains are selling.

The biggest challenge with producing mass quantities of poutine is avoiding making it too salty, while the danger on the flip side is blandness. Wendy’s poutine comfortably straddles the middle – it’s neither too salty, nor flavourless. The gravy is beefy-ish and gives it a solid earthy taste.

That said, it’s probably the most remarkable of the three ingredients, with both the fries and cheese curds decidedly middle of the road. The chain made a big deal a little while back about going “natural” with its fries – they have potato skin and sea salt on them now – but honestly, I haven’t been able to tell much of a difference, they’re still meh. The curds, meanwhile, are perhaps the least important ingredient. I’m sure some gourmets would disagree, but as long as they’re not hard and stale it’s hard to tell one batch from another.

The downside of Wendy’s poutine is the serving size and price. The chain is selling it as a $3.99 side dish, which is a bit steep for the amount you get. It’s certainly not big enough to act as a standalone meal, unlike what you can get at New York Fries or Smoke’s for about $2 more. Indeed, the basic poutine at both those chains is better in terms of value and taste.

As such, I wouldn’t make Wendy’s restaurants a destination for poutine, despite the company’s attempt to install it as Canada’s national dish through a “poutition,” but it’s certainly not something that should be avoided if you do find yourself in one.

 
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Posted by on May 23, 2012 in new york fries, poutine, wendy's

 

Top posts of 2010: less porn, more filling

It’s that time of year again: the top 10 posts of the year. I loves me my Google Analytics, as I can go back and see exactly which posts were viewed by how many people, where they were when they looked at them, and even which web browser they used. Indeed, I’m still trying to figure out how to get Analytics to work on my new WordPress site, WordsByNowak.com, which is the only reason that SexBombsBurgers.com over  on Blogger is still active.

In any event, here are the ten most viewed post of the past year, with some thoughts following.

10. Milking the golden cow that is porn

I obviously had a lot of posts about porn over the past year, so the fact that this one made the top 10 is somewhat surprising. It was about advertising firm M&C Saatchi winning the account for ICM Registry, the company that will run the .XXX domain name.

9. The challenges of finding ethical porn

Oh look, another porn post. Shocker! This one came out of a Globe and Mail article for which I was interviewed, and the headline is pretty self-explanatory.

8. Adult industry watching YouTube closely

Another porn post. Is there a pattern here? This was about Google’s victory over Viacom in the YouTube lawsuit.

7. Pirating Sex, Bombs and Burgers

The first non-porn post in the top ten. My book hit BitTorrent sites in June (or at least that’s when I became aware that it had) and overall, I don’t really mind.

One of two food-related posts on the list, and strangely it’s from 2009. Proof that things live forever on the internet.

5. UK wireless versus Canada

Who knew that bitching about cellphone prices in Canada would attract so much attention? Will I be doing more of this in 2011? Does a bear take an ARPU in the woods? (That’s an in-joke in industry parlance.)

4. Raven Alexis on porn and tech

Getting back to porn, my interview with the adult starlet (pictured) got quite a few views.

3. Musical training at Wendys

I can actually explain the traffic on this post – it got mentioned on Fark. Which is funny because I originally saw it on the National Post website and simply rehashed it.

2. Gmail voice about future search not free calls

When Google announced free phone calls in Gmail, I mused that the company was looking to compile a huge database of voice samples to improve search results. Google denied it, but not before the post was mentioned on Techmeme and syndicated by Gizmodo.

1. Porn producers anxious for Palm Pre

This is the one that shocks me because not only is it from 2009, it was also my top post last year. It was mentioned on some Palm user forum, which is the only reason it keeps getting traffic. I think it’s very bizarre that people still care about the Palm Pre. I can’t complain, though, because more people have probably become aware of my book through their interest in mobile porn than any other topic.

Speaking of last year, there’s been a noticeable change in the overall results. In 2009, 8 of my 10 most-viewed posts were porn related. I’m pleased to say that’s down to 5 this year. I don’t think that’s because I’ve talked about porn any less, but it probably does have something to do with expanding the topics I blog about, which is something that will continue in 2011.

Thanks very much to everyone for reading! I find it amazing that an ever-growing number of people keep tuning in to my silly ramblings, which is more than enough reason to keep going.

 
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Posted by on December 30, 2010 in Burger King, copyright, food, Google, mobile, raven alexis, sex, telecommunications, wendy's