Fancy Fast Food: Wendy’s Introduces Foie Gras Burger in Japan

Can highbrow fare give the chain a second chance in a tough market?

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Courtesy of Wendy's Japan

Wendy’s has traveled far outside of its (formerly) square-burger boundaries with its current relaunch in Japan, complete with $16 foie gras hamburgers and irini cake rolls.

Already nearly surpassing Burger King for the second spot on America’s fast food hierarchy, Wendy’s ended its nearly two-year Japanese hiatus and reopened this week in Tokyo.

Sure, you can find Wendy’s signature burgers, fries and even the Frosty on the Japanese menu, but expect the Japanese Wendy’s to cater to the local market by offering a few new items too, including the expensive foie gras (French for “fat liver” of either the duck or goose) burger. You certainly won’t find that option anywhere near North America, but Wendy’s wants to do things a bit differently in Japan. Add to that the Avocado Wasabi hamburger, the Truffle and Porcini Grilled Chicken sandwich and the irini rolled cake and you have a unique menu when paired with an old-fashioned American cheeseburger.

(MORE: Wendy’s Set to Outpace Burger King)

The rollout of the new line occurred in the Ometsando district of Tokyo, known for its fashionable shops, a highbrow environment fit for the fancy foie-gras offering.

Wendy’s had been in Japan before, but bowed out in February 2010. The new agreement has Wendy’s, based in Dublin, Ohio, joining with Higa Industries Co. Ernest Higa, founder, says in a press release that reintroducing the traditional Wendy’s products with the new locally inspired products will differentiate Wendy’s from the other quick-service outlets and provide a contemporary choice for consumers.

Wendy’s wants to get to 100 Japanese locations within five years and eventually expand to 700 restaurants in Japan.

And if you thought foie gras was all Wendy’s had to offer in Japan, don’t fret. There’s still plenty of bacon on the menu there, too.

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