Have you ever wondered what goes on behind the scenes at your favorite restaurant? Or wondered how fresh that “fresh” salad is that you ordered? If so, then you’re going to love today’s post! I was lucky enough to get invited to go behind the counter at Wendy’s to see the whole process of making three of their most popular salads, from start to finish, and I was pleasantly surprised with what I saw.
The start of Wendy’s salads begins with produce fresh from the farm. Fresh shipments of produce are delivered to each restaurant throughout the week to ensure that customers are served salads with fresh ingredients. At the Wendy’s in Torrance, California that I visited, the lettuce for their salads is picked one day, and then delivered to the restaurant only four days later. You can check out the Romaine Lettuce Journey YouTube video to see the life cycle of a specific head of romaine as it travels from farm to drive-thru that’s pretty cool.
In each Wendy’s restaurant, crew members chop fresh iceberg and romaine lettuce, cucumbers, red peppers, and tomatoes every single day multiple times. This whole process is done in the morning for the lunch salads, then in the afternoon for the dinner salads. There’s a big difference between fresh made and freshly assembled salads, so it was so refreshing to see this! There were no bags of pre-cut romaine or already chopped tomatoes. It was all cut fresh that very same day, which made me feel very confident in ordering a salad from Wendy’s!
The heads of romaine and iceberg lettuce are all washed in a cold water bath, then chopped into large pieces, with some slices being saved for the burgers and chicken sandwiches, and the rest getting placed on the top of a large lettuce chopper. After the lettuce is chopped, it drops down into the largest salad spinner I’ve ever seen in my life! The water is funneled out of the spinner and into a container at the bottom, and it’s amazing how much water is released from the lettuce, which ensures a crunchy, not soggy salad.
Next up was the cutting of the cucumbers, red peppers, and tomatoes for the salads.
They have a really cool gadget (that I’m pretty sure I need in my kitchen now, along with the giant salad spinner) that they use to cut the vegetables. The knife goes inside the plastic openings so that each vegetable is uniformly cut at each restaurant, and for safety reasons as well.
Once the lettuce and vegetables are prepared, then comes the specialization for each specific salad. The Wendy’s Apple Pecan Chicken Salad (my personal favorite!) gets two scoops of crisp red and green apples, along with tasty cranberries. The Wendy’s Asian Cashew Chicken Salad gets fire-roasted edamame, and fresh red peppers and cucumbers, while the Wendy’s BBQ Ranch Chicken Salad gets fire-roasted corn and freshly diced tomatoes added to the top. YUM!!
Next the salad is taken to another counter of the restaurant, where is it is given the additional meat and cheese toppings. I love that Wendy’s salads are made to order and to your own specifications and taste. If you are a vegetarian, you can order your salad without the chicken. If you’re not a blue cheese fan, you can order your salad with no cheese, a different cheese, or ask for more of another topping instead. This ensures that the customer is getting their salad made just the way they like it, which I think is great!
The Wendy’s Apple Pecan Chicken Salad went on to receive warm premium, white-meat, freshly grilled chicken breast on the top, as well as blue cheese (which I opted out of for my salad, since I’m not a big blue cheese fan). The roasted pecans come in a small packet on the side of the salad for you to put on yourself, which is a nice safety thing for those that have nut allergies. The Pomegranate Vinaigrette, which also comes on the side, is custom-made for Wendy’s by Marzetti, and tastes absolutely amazing!!
The Asian Cashew Chicken Salad also has warm grilled chicken breast, spicy roasted cashews, a Light Spicy Asian Chili Vinaigrette added to the top, while the BBQ Ranch Chicken Salad goes on to receive Applewood smoked bacon, grilled chicken, barbecue sauce, and BBQ Ranch dressing.
My mouth is watering just writing this, it all looked so delicious!
We each got to make our own salad, which was very cool! It was a tough choice choosing which salad I wanted, but I ended up going with the Apple Pecan Chicken Salad. It was absolutely delicious, and I kids you not, I ended up going to Wendy’s that night for dinner and ordering the same exact salad that I had eaten earlier. That’s how good it tasted!! Now my son begs me practically every day to go too Wendy’s to get a salad because he loved it too!
The Wendy’s in Torrance was just remodeled and was absolutely beautiful! It was so clean and modern. The store even had outlets conveniently located where you could charge your devices, along with free wi-fi. The best part is that every single Wendy’s restaurant will be remodeled. I can’t wait for my local Wendy’s to look like this one did!
I hope you enjoyed this peek at what goes on behind the scenes at Wendy’s and how their fresh salads are made. If you haven’t tried one yet (or even if you have), so yourself a favor and pick one up for an easy and delicious lunch or dinner. You can order a full or half size, and the full size is really big and filling. It’s nice to know that there are healthy fresh options out there when needing a bite to eat on the go, and I’m so glad that I discovered Wendy’s tasty salads!
<i>I was selected for this opportunity as a member of <a href="http://clvr.li/OHjC82" target="_blank">Clever Girls</a> and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.</i>