Food and Leisure

Wendy’s load-all-you-can salad bar is back!

Joy Angelica Subido, Joy Angelica Subido, Karla Alindahao - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - Call it ingenuity, recklessness, an engineering feat, or an extreme balancing act. When a diner is able to load an ordinary salad plate with what adds up to three kilos worth of greens, cubes or slivers of vegetables, corn, macaroni, fruits, gelatin, hardboiled eggs and dressing, it should be an impressive sight to behold. For those watching, the challenge of bringing that atrocious mountain of food to the table without any spillage would have been just as thrilling. But then, a crackerjack of a diner did just that at the buffet in Wendy’s. After piling up a marvel of a salad heap, he adroitly wove through the tables so that he could begin tucking into the plate.

But the feat is actually even more impressive. “That was when we were using Styrofoam plates,” says Yvette Pardo-Orbeta, chairman of the board for Wendy’s. Astounded at the amount of food that a pliable, six-inch-diameter plate could hold, she asked the diner if he would allow the store staff to weigh the plate. That confirmed it — a staggering three kilos. And the ravenous diner devoured it all, with nary a morsel left on the plate!

The salad bar at Wendy’s was always quite popular. As the first fast food in the world to offer a salad bar in 1979, it attracted an enthusiastic following from people who loved the idea of value for money. As Filipinos bought into the salad craze, we are told that “the salad counter at Wendy’s acquired pop cult status in the 1980s until well into the 1990s, as customers eagerly embraced fresh salad” to complement the restaurant’s standard menu of burgers and fries. Unfortunately, the salad counter disappeared afterwards because Wendy’s United States- based mother company asked franchisees to halt operations. “They felt it best to discontinue the salad bar because it was putting pressure on restaurant operations,” explains Michael Kho, CEO of Wendy’s Philippines. He reveals that the Philippines was actually last in the system to remove the salad bar — real proof that not only do locals enjoy tasty salads, but they also recognize good value when they see it. But then, everyone had to abide by the directive and the salad bars still had to be closed down.

After a long hiatus, the good news is that the salad bar is back at Wendy’s Philippines stores. It is initially available in selected outlets (SM Annex North EDSA, Boni corner EDSA, SM Megamall, Glorietta 4 Cinema Level, Greenfields Portal and SM Centerpoint Sta. Mesa.)  At the affordable cost of P199, diners are allowed one dine-in trip to the salad bar. For diners who opt for “sandwich combos,” a shot at the salad bar is great value at P150. 

We learn that new salad bar is “proudly the first-ever Wendy’s crowd-sourced salad.”  Marizu Baser, marketing director says, “This means that the Wendy’s Facebook fan page community selected and voted on the salad toppings and dressings that would be served.” Currently, three salad dressings are available: the classic Thousand Island, the familiar favorite Caesar, and a new, refreshing and slightly tart strawberry vinaigrette.

“One of the brand’s key messages is that eating healthy is a choice at Wendy’s,” says Baser. “The salad bar has been reintroduced because our customers want it back.” Customers have voiced their need for healthier options and the people behind Wendy’s have listened and taken active steps to address the demand.










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