Add-ons are a quick way for fast food operations to make a little money while covering costs. Want another squirt of sauce? That’ll cost you a few cents. How about some extra lettuce? Yup, you’re going to pay more. But as I was messing around in Wendy’s mobile app today, I noticed that certain add-ons are actually free. And free is always good.
The cost to customize your order at McDonald’s and Burger King
Using my Burger King mobile app, if I want to upgrade, say, a cheeseburger by adding lettuce and tomato, that burger will cost more—either topping is an additional $0.50. If I want to add lettuce to my burger at McDonald’s, the in-app charge is $0.25, while tomatoes cost an extra $0.40. It’s not a ton of money, but still, the point is, these additions make your meal more expensive.
I like veggies on my burgers, whether it’s lettuce, tomatoes, onions, or pickles, so I’ll typically order whichever burger includes vegetables by default (that way I don’t have to customize). Even then, those menu items will almost always be a little more expensive because the cost of the produce is built in. Wendy’s seems to be an odd exception to this rule.
What Wendy’s lets you add to your order for free in the app
If you’d like to upgrade an unadorned Wendy’s burger or chicken sandwich by adding veggies, the app won’t charge you to do so.
That might sound a little silly to get excited about, but it is notable and unusual—in fact, there are items on the menu with veggies built in that naturally cost more as a result. For example, if you order a Jr. Cheeseburger, it just comes with cheese, onions, pickles, ketchup, and mustard, and my local Wendy’s charges $1.69 for it.
A Jr. Cheeseburger Deluxe is the same thing, plus lettuce and tomato, and it’s $2.39, which is a $0.70 difference. If you manually customize the Jr. Cheeseburger in the app to add lettuce and tomatoes, you won’t be charged. I tried doing this via the website and learned it won’t charge you there either.
In the end, will this save you a ton of money? Of course not. But I delight in fucking around with mobile apps specifically in order to save money. Getting some extra veggies for free is never a bad thing. Using this trick, I found that adding pickles, lettuce, tomatoes, and onions to a Baconator is cheaper than ordering a Double Big Bacon Classic, which has the exact same components (you only save $0.20 in this case, but hey, that’s still money).
Hopefully Wendy’s doesn’t see this and adjust the app to begin charging for veggies. I guess if I’m the only one who ends up saving $0.70 on a hacked-together Jr. Cheeseburger Deluxe, yay for me. But if all of you take advantage of it, well, then that’s a public service. Now go add some tomatoes, onions, and pickles to your Crispy Chicken Sandwich with reckless abandon.