Wendy's new fry guarantee: hot & crispy, or exchange them 'no questions asked'

·Reporter, Booking Producer
·4 min read

Wendy's is out with an unusual new initiative to take a stand against "cold and soggy fry disappointment" found at other fast food joints.

Dubbed the 'Hot & Crispy Fry Guarantee,' the new policy begins on Wednesday, allowing Wendy's customers to exchange purchased fries for hotter and crispier versions — with "no questions asked," according to the company. 

"If a customer gets an order of fries and they don't think they're hot and crispy enough, or they're not satisfied with those, they should hand them back to us and we should be happy to give them a brand new fry in exchange," Kurt Kane, Wendy's U.S. President and Chief Commercial Officer told Yahoo Finance in an interview.

"We're confident that it's very consistent with who we are as Wendy's and what customers should expect," Kane added. 

Wendy’s introduces The Hot & Crispy Fry Guarantee. (Courtesy: Wendy's)
Wendy’s introduces The Hot & Crispy Fry Guarantee. (Courtesy: Wendy's)

The executive said this new initiative is in line with Wendy's recipes being synonymous with quality — "most important phrase in Wendy's history," and puts fries as the "star of the show."

This new policy is an extension of the launch of its new Hot & Crispy fry in September. The process to create the revamped menu item took the company four years, and more than 20 different cuts and shapes to bring forward "a lot hotter, a lot crispier" fry.

A new batter system allows it to stay that way, whether customers get it straight out of the fryer, or have it delivered.

Kane is confident in the updated recipe, which he says the company holds close to its vest. He added that he believes the fast food giant "really hit the mark on this one" with the largest support from franchisees that he has seen during his tenure at Wendy's.

"We have a lot of our franchisees together this week and they've all had the chance now to try this fry and to be able to experience it themselves...the amount of excitement and enthusiasm for just how good it is, is really unmatched with anything that I've seen during my six years with Wendy's," Kane continued.

Wendy's ramps up its competitive edge

Kane declined to cite how much the new campaign would cost, but said there's a significant amount of media behind it — in addition to the new fry cartons and a bag that outline the Hot & Crispy Fry Guarantee.

"It's a number that we'll hold close to the vest, but I'm comfortable to say it's a significant investment in quality," he told Yahoo Finance. And he's certain that the return of investment will be worth it, and that "customers are going to recognize it and reward us for it as well." 

Along with the launch of the Hot & Crispy Fry Guarantee, the Wendy's team is continuing its "red carpet" of freebies every Friday, or what the company calls "Fry-day," for the rest of October. 

Customers who order a a medium order of Hot & Crispy Fries can receive a free Junior Bacon Cheeseburger on October 15th, a free 10-piece Crispy or Spicy Nuggets on October 22nd, and a free Classic Chicken Sandwich on October 29th through an in-app offer — in addition to a free frosty with fries the entire month of October. 

Kane took aim at competitors like McDonald's (MCD), whose world famous fries are wildly popular with the masses. 

"They love to say 'would you like fries with that?' and they think about it as a second or third tier option. They don't put it as number one in their heart and at Wendy's with the new fry that we have, fries are definitely number one in our heart right now," the executive said. 

He suggested that the chain was prepared to go "head to head" with the Golden Arches for the approval of consumers and tastemakers.

Year-to-date shares of Wendy's are largely unchanged, however compared to a year ago shares of the company are down nearly 11 percent.

ALL MARKETS SUMMIT ON OCTOBER 25
ALL MARKETS SUMMIT ON OCTOBER 25

Brooke DiPalma is a producer and reporter for Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter at @BrookeDiPalma or email her at bdipalma@yahoofinance.com.

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