Wendy's Adds Lobster and Caviar Burgers to Its Menu

August 8, 2012 6:11 PM EDT | By Anthony Smith
Lobster Roll
Lobster! (Photo: Better Being Underground, with)

This is one of those stories that makes you wish you lived halfway around the world, because the fast food joints there know something that their American equivalents don't seem to care about.

In the United States, Wendy's is most famous for items like their weirdly square ground-beef patties, their Frostys (which, by the way, you should dip your french fries in), and, of course, their Baconator. But in Japan, a country wherein the fast food chain is looking to flourish at an aggressive and competitive rate, it'll be keeping toe with-- and ultimately running way past-- its competition by heralding in more indisputably upscale items to their menu-- chief among them: lobster and caviar.

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That's right, everyone: Wendy's Japan just added lobster and caviar. Why are we still living in America?

The Lobster Surf & Turf Burger and the Premium Caviar & Lobster Sandwich will be available for a limited time in select Wendy's Tokyo locations. If you go exploring the hip-and-happening Omotesando neighborhood, or even the more suburban Roppongi Hills, you'll stumble across the two flagship locations.

"Each sandwich is priced at ¥1,280 or approximately US$16.28," reported Burger Business, "Or go big (¥1,580/$20.11) for the Garden Sensation salad with lobster and caviar." Both burgers use Omar lobster meat that Wendy's has had imported from Canada. Looks like Locavore cuisine doesn't really translate to fast food chains there.

And whereas most Americans may be a little suspicious of lobster and caviar at a Wendy's, their company thinks they've hit the cultural bullseye. "These premium specialty sandwiches are really designed for the Japanese customer," contend Bob Bertini, Wendy's spokesman, "We have a joint venture in Japan and as part of that we have kitchens that help design sandwiches that make particular sense for that market. Seafood is a huge part of Japanese culture and diet, and this just makes sense."

In the Japanese restaurant market, which rewards well-timed novelty and gambits like a ramen restaurant that invited its patrons to name their own price for the food, Bertini said that "this is a way to help differentiate [Wendy's] from other chains in the country."

To our dismay, he finished by informing us that there are no plans in the works to bring either of those sandwiches stateside. Guess they don't trust us to be very sophisticated consumers.

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