Wendy’s Is Changing Its Fries Recipe for the First Time in 10 Years

The Hot & Crispy Fries will be in stores nationwide by mid-September.

Photo by Deutschlandreform/shutterstock
Photo by Deutschlandreform/shutterstock

Sometimes I order an entree just so it's socially acceptable to get fries. Am I hungry enough for the chicken sandwich? Probably not, but I want to shove my face full of crispy potato strips and call it a well-balanced meal. Wendy's gets the importance of a good starchy side. So much so that the square patty slinger is revamping its fries with an even crispier version. 

Wendy's previous Natural-Cut Fries got a major update. Thanks to a little thing called science, the chain has managed to create an upgraded fry that actually holds its heat and crunch. Hitting stores nationwide by mid-September, the appropriately dubbed "Hot & Crispy" Fries were created with the pandemic-related drive-thru and delivery boost in mind. With less people eating immediately, Wendy's wanted to ensure customers weren't losing quality as a result.

This also marks the first time Wendy's has toyed with its fry recipe in over a decade. The pigtailed fast food joint hasn't changed its fries since November 2010, according to CNN, when it added sea salt and went for a more natural "skin-on" cut. Prior to that, the fry formula hadn't been touched since opening in 1969. 

"These fries are a cut above the rest—literally," senior specialist for culinary & innovation at Wendy's Emily Kessler said in the announcement Thursday. "One side is built for heat retention, and the other for crispiness." 

According to the outlet, to balance the cut of the fry, Wendy's left a little bit of skin on the potato (for flavor!) while also using a special batter system (with new fry baskets) to help maintain that crispiness we're all after. 

"This is probably the most complex project I’ve worked on in my entire career," VP of Culinary Innovation John Li said. "We took the route that was harder—but it was the right one for us. We were able to deliver a crispier fry, that is preferred nearly 2:1 over our biggest competitor McDonald’s."

Want more Thrillist? Follow us on Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, TikTok, and Snapchat.

Megan Schaltegger is a staff writer at Thrillist.