Food & Dining

McDonald’s vs. Wendy’s

While there have been numerous feuds between fast-food giants, none arguably was as ferocious as the McDonald’s vs. Wendy’s feud of 2018. Wendy’s draw the first shot when it mocked McDonald’s for using frozen beef patties in its burgers; Wendy’s used only fresh beef patties, a choice that made its burgers slightly better than its fierce competitor.

Social Media Feud

Between the two chains, Wendy’s is undoubtedly the master of the Twitter clapback – even the likes of Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr. retreated from its Twitter feuds because the comebacks were just genius, and McDonald’s wasn’t up to form, too.  Wendy’s is also quite relentless in its ad campaigns – the Super Bowl commercial stating, “The iceberg that sank the Titanic was frozen, too” is funny as hell! 

But McDonald’s also had an ace up its sleeve – it now offers its Quarter Pounder burgers with fresh, never-frozen beef patties! Wendy’s being Wendy’s, it almost immediately took a swipe at McDonald’s by tweeting, “Happy #NationalFrozenFoodDay to you for all the frozen beef that’s sticking around in your cheeseburgers.” To that, we have to say that Wendy’s still is the queen of the comeback. 

What does this say about the McDonald’s vs. Wendy’s feud? Well, while the chains battle it out on social media, they are also battling it out in the real world where customers make the final decision.

Better Burger Wins

McDonald’s is, of course, the world’s largest chain of fast-food restaurants in terms of number of locations. But what Wendy’s doesn’t have in numbers, it more than makes up for in the quality of its burgers. 

After all, there’s only one thing that matters in the burger wars: taste. In our numerous taste tests, we have to say that Wendy’s emerges as the clear winner in terms of delicious burgers! Even with McDonald’s switching to fresh beef patties, Wendy’s knows its burger and delivers it well. 

The Wendy’s burgers have a juicier, more succulent and more flavorful quality to them, thanks in part to the fresh beef patties and in part to the smart choice in seasonings and toppings. We love the combo of white onions, tomatoes and lettuce because these ingredients add more depth of flavor to the burgers.

The McDonald’s burgers, in contrast, aren’t as juicy and succulent mainly because of the use of frozen patties; the exception, of course, is the Quarter Pounder that has more flavor in the meat than it did before. Fortunately, the dry patty is offset by the relatively fresh vegetables and toasted bun so the burgers are quite delicious, if fast-food burgers are your thing. 

Customer Preferences

But in terms of consumer popularity, McDonald’s surprisingly takes the cake! According to a UBS Evidence Lab survey, McDonald’s is still the most favorite of customers and it’s also likely to stay at the top. The brand’s strength is still robust – McDonald’s performed favorably across customer perception metrics including value, promotion, and speed of service.

The bottom line: McDonald’s may not offer burgers as delicious as Wendy’s but it definitely delivers on other aspects that consumers look for in a fast-food chain.

Where does Wendy’s place on the survey? Well, it’s in second place while Burger King, Subway, Taco Bell, and KFC come next. 

What’s with McDonald’s that make consumers make repeat visits, even become loyal customers? We have to say that more promotions, more value and lower prices are the things that make the fast-food giant popular. 

Take, for example, its two for $5 deal as well as its increasingly wider selection of breakfast menu items. Customers can add donut sticks and applewood smoked bacon, among others, to their breakfast sandwiches and burgers, too. 

McDonald’s is also at the forefront of customer-centric innovations that make the dining experience even better. These include digital menus and wooden tables paired with fake leather chairs, which are designed to attract more customers to its restaurants. 

When it comes to overall vibe, both McDonald’s and Wendy’s have the stereotypical fast-food vibe – don’t expect fine dining decors and you won’t be disappointed. But McDonald’s has the slight upper hand because its interiors are usually brighter, more spacious, and more elegant than Wendy’s. Indeed, the furniture and fixtures in McDonald’s restaurants have an upscale feel to them that we like.

In terms of service, McDonald’s also has the upper hand. Even during peak hours, the line moves fast and the food arrives hot or cold depending on its desired temperature. We like that we don’t have to wait too long for the food and drinks, a must when your time is gold in many ways. 

For both McDonald’s and Wendy’s, nonetheless, the amenities and facilities are maintained clean and sanitary so we don’t have complaints on this ground. The rest rooms, for example, always have toilet paper and handwash liquid, which are necessary for hygiene purposes. 

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