A kick to fast food’s buns: Bread as more than an afterthought

The quest for better burgers isn’t leaving the bun behind.

The sandwich upgrades underway at several quick-service chains focus as much on the bread as what’s between it. The perfect example: Wendy’s, whose buns are about to be buttered.

And toasted, stressed Roland Smith, CEO of the chain and its parent company. The chain’s new Dave’s Hot ’n Juicy cheeseburger line will be served on a toasted, buttered bun, Smith recently explained to financial analysts. That twist will make the burgers better than the ones sold by Five Guys and In-N-Out, he asserted no fewer than three times.

A better bun is also a selling points for McDonald’s new premium chicken sandwich. It features a toasted, bakery-style roll.

Jack in the Box is similarly using what it calls jumbo bakery buns for its Really Big Chicken Sandwich.


The bun

The bun: Toasted and buttered
The sandwich: Wendy’s Dave’s Hot ’n Juicy cheeseburger
Because of the bun, as good as Five Guys, says the CEO.

The bun: Bakery-style roll
The sandwhich: Jack in the Box’s sirloin burger
A big premium burger served on a big premium bun with a deli look to the top.

The bun: Toasted and bakery-style
The sandwich: McDonald’s new Premium Chicken Sandwich
A new version replaces the honeywheat bun with a toasted bakery roll.

The bun: Toasted
The sandwich: Church’s Southern Style Chicken Sandwich
A toasted bun adds some additional texture to a sandwich built around a crispy chicken breast.

The bun: Jumbo and bakery quality
The sandwich: Jack in the Box’s Really Big Chicken Sandwich
At $3.99, the sandwich is value-priced, especially with the better bread.

The bun: Poppy-seeded
The sandwich: Sonic’s Chicago Dog
To make it a true Chicago-style hot dog, the drive-in chain opted for the appropriate bread, a soft, warm poppy bun.

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