Wendy's might have some bad news for fans enamored with its Made to Crave menu: the popular Pub burgers, chicken sandwiches, and fries may soon be gone from the chain.
Less than a year after it was brought back by popular demand, the Pub line of menu items is starting to disappear from Wendy's locations nationwide leading some to believe the chain plans to retire the pretzel-bun items soon. The Pub menu includes the Pretzel Bacon Pub Cheeseburger, as well as its Double and Triple versions, three Pretzel Bacon Pub chicken sandwiches, in both fried and grilled versions, as well as Pub Fries. What ties them all together? The inclusion of warm beer cheese sauce, bacon, and a soft pretzel bun.
Anecdotes of the Pub line's disappearance have been trickling in on Wendy's subreddit recently. In August, one user posted an image of a tombstone overlaid with a picture of a Pretzel Bacon Pub Cheeseburger. "Gone but not forgotten," read the enigmatic caption.
A subsequent post from a customer seems to confirm that the items are officially departing from the menu. In the shared image of a Wendy's drive-thru, the Pub burgers appear to be stricken through with a message that reads "We're sorry—this menu item is no longer available."
The Pub line was first introduced last September, after a long journey through Wendy's R&D process. Fans will recall that the chain released its first Pretzel Burger in 2013 for a limited time, but it was taken off the menu shortly after despite its popularity. Then early last year, Wendy's VP of culinary innovation John Li was tasked with developing a line extension based on the successful item.
Adding in an entirely new pretzel bun and a custom-developed beer-flavored cheese, as well as several other classic Wendy's ingredients, Li said he felt confident that his "Oktoberfest kitchen sink sandwich" was going to be "a big hit."
Based on the reactions of Wendy's fans to the news about the Pub burger, Li was right. Casual customers, store employees, and Wendy's superfans all have fond memories of the Pub line. Some customers are all about the line's one-of-a-kind beer-flavored cheese.
Some said they miss the Pub burger more for its customizable pretzel bun than anything else, but others remembered the Pretzel Bacon sandwich as not only "[the] best burger" but the "best fast food item anywhere in years." It is not difficult to imagine why customers would have taken so quickly to the Pub burger and Pub fries: rich with dairy-based ingredients and designed to be reminiscent of gastro-pub fare, the Pub line offered, per Li, "comfort food…with a twist." One Wendy's employee even described the Pretzel Bacon sandwich as "extremely popular" with their customers.
It is worth noting that, while Wendy's customers and employees alike seemed to enjoy the Pub menu line, employees strongly disliked the extra time and labor involved in preparing Pub sandwiches and fries. So for every post on the Wendy's subreddit wishing the Pub line a fond farewell, there's another, from an employee, celebrating its removal.
Wendy's hasn't immediately responded to our request for comment regarding the exact status of the Pub items. In the meantime, however, customers and fans can look forward to a forthcoming creation from Wendy's R&D team (and the likely successor to the Pub burger and fries): the Big Bacon Cheddar.
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