Wendy’s may have some bad news for fans enamored of the Made to Crave menu: The popular pub burgers, chicken sandwiches, and chips may soon be leaving the chain.
Less than a year after it was returned by popular demand, the Pub line of menu items is beginning to disappear from Wendy’s locations across the country, leading some to believe the chain plans to retire the pretzel buns soon. The Pub menu includes the Pretzel Bacon Pub Cheeseburger, as well as the double and triple versions, three Pretzel Bacon Pub sandwiches with chicken, in both fried and grilled versions, as well as Pub Fries. What binds them all? The addition of warm beer cheese sauce, bacon and a soft pretzel roll.
Anecdotes about the disappearance of the Pub line have been trickling in on Wendy’s subreddit recently. In August, a user posted an image of a tombstone with an image of a Pretzel Bacon Pub Cheeseburger on it. “Gone but not forgotten,” read the puzzling caption.
A subsequent message from a customer seems to confirm that the items are officially off the menu. In the shared image of a Wendy’s drive-thru, the Pub Burgers appear to have been crossed out 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 remember that the chain released its first Pretzel Burger in 2013 for a limited time, but it was pulled from the menu shortly after despite its popularity. Early last year, Wendy’s VP of culinary innovation John Li was tasked with developing a line extension based on the successful item.
Adding an all-new pretzel bun and specially developed beer-flavored cheese, as well as several other classic Wendy’s ingredients, Li said he was confident that his “Oktoberfest countertop sandwich” was going to be “a big hit.”
Based on the reactions of Wendy’s fans to the news about the Pubburger, Li was right. Casual customers, store associates and Wendy’s super fans all have fond memories of the Pub line. For some customers, it’s all about the line’s unique beer-flavored cheese.
Some said they miss the Pubburger more for its customizable pretzel bun than anything, but others didn’t just remember the Pretzel Bacon sandwich as “[the] best burger” but the “best fast food item anywhere in yearsIt’s not hard to imagine why customers would have turned to the Pubburger and Pubfriet so quickly: rich in dairy-based ingredients and designed to reminded of of gastro pub fare, the Pub line offered, per Li, “comfort food…with a twist.” A Wendy’s employee even described the Pretzel Bacon sandwich as “extremely popular” with their customers.
It’s worth noting that while Wendy’s customers and staff both seemed to enjoy the Pub menu line, Staff members strong didn’t like it the extra time and labor involved in preparing pub sandwiches and chips. So for every post on the Wendy’s subreddit that wishes the Pub line a fond farewell, there’s another one, from one contributor, celebrating its removal.
Wendy’s did not immediately respond to our request for comment regarding the exact status of the Pub items. Meanwhile, however, customers and fans can look forward to an upcoming creation from Wendy’s R&D team (and the likely successor to the Pub burger and fries): the Great Bacon Cheddar.
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