How Wendy’s Ruined the Caesar Side Salad

When Dave Thomas passed away, the salad menu at Wendy’s changed drastically.  For the most part, they did a good job introducing several new salad’s and offering variety to the menu.  I still miss the Delux Garden Salad.  It was a huge bowl of lettuce, topped with cucumbers, carrots, tomatoes and shredded cheese.  It cost $2.99 and was enough food for 2 people.  I have eaten it by myself, but would also split one with my mother from time to time.  That’s been a few years ago, but there were no blogs back then so I never got my rant out 🙂

Fast forward one decade.  A few years ago, Wendy’s started letting you substitute other sides in the place of fries when ordering a meal.  My favorite thing to order at Wendy’s (I’ve had it a million times) is the Spicy Chicken Sandwich with Caesar Side Salad.  For at least 12 years, that salad has been made of romaine lettuce with bacon and shredded Parmesan.  You could add croûtons and Caesar dressing.  Few things in life make me happier than eating one of those before my Spicy Chicken Sandwich.

On Saturday I ordered the usual.  Wendy’s has once again updated their salad selections, but as usual I could not care less.  Except for the fact that my Caesar Side Salad is FUBAR.  No bacon, no croûtons, and the Parmesan cheese looks like wood chips.  That sandwich with that salad have been a staple part of my diet for 10 years or more.  They took something I’ve enjoy for ages and simply quit making it.  What the crap?

One person, one blog, one article is not going to make a difference.  I need 10,000 of my best friends to write blog posts, call your local Wendy’s, write angry letters.  UPDATE: Please read the first comment, and link to the Wendy’s website.  Once there, click on Customer Feedback.


About Clark Bunch

Pastor (Unity Baptist) author (God is Near) husband, father, blogger, coffee enthusiast.
This entry was posted in mood, rant, what's up and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

29 Responses to How Wendy’s Ruined the Caesar Side Salad

  1. Clark Bunch says:

    The Wendy’s website has a contact form. I kindly ask all who read this article to follow the link below and tell them you want the old Caesar side salad at least as an option.


  2. Celeste says:

    Ach, so this is a permanent change! I just got my first taste of the new salad and it is, ich, to say the least. The old salad was a staple of my diet as well. I ate it plain, no croutons, no dressing. I will surely let them know how I feel as well.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Tina says:

    I was arguing with the lady at the Wendy’s counter the other day because I could not believe that she was telling me the crap salad with tomatoes and no bacon had replaced my favorite item that I’ve been eating for years. I’m so terribly sad but I will contact Wendy’s right away about this.


  4. Jessie Ann says:

    I, too, am Irate with fury about this change. It has been a staple of my diet for many years, as well. I would always order either a small chili or a caesar side salad, or sometimes both! I just looked on their website and the old picture has been replaced with the new. But I see croutons! I’ve never been offered croutons with this “NEW” salad and I’ve ordered three times already, thinking they’ve made a mistake all the times before. And what the hell is GARLIC LEMON CAESAR DRESSING? Uh, I’ll tell you! Some of the nastiest stuff I’ve ever put on nasty salad!
    I admit, I googled it and found your blog, before I opened up the Wendy’s website. I’m going there immediately to share my thoughts, feelings, and emotions! LONG LIVE THE OLD CAESAR SIDE SALAD!


    • Jessie says:

      UH, still no luck on the bringing back the ORIGINAL Caesar Side Salad. Oh… how I miss it so! I left another comment for them, today. You know they are about to change the fries, as well. Tomorrow, in fact. I wonder how they are going to be! I will find out tomorrow.


  5. Jackie says:

    I totally agree that the “new” ceaser side salad sucks and I gave Wendy’s my two-cents…


  6. PRISCILLA says:

    What can you say but, “YUCK”!! I agree with all of you. It has been a change for the worst!! Here at the office everyone has Wendy’s at least 3X’s a week! I too, am guilty of haveing the “side of lettuce core” salad. It is terrible! I know there is a recession but this is rediculous!!! The price went up and the quality went down. Way Down!! For the price I can go next door and buy a head of lettuce and actually get leafs instead of core pcs. They are going to force you to have something with avacodos in it. I will spare you the rant of lack of ingredients in the salads because there hasn’t been any to talk about!! You can’t even get a large Garden Salad anymore. Are the farmers on strike? Hey Wendys, listen to the public. Change isn’t always good! Bring back the old style of dressings, PLEASE!!


  7. Kim says:

    I went to Wendy’s today and got what I thought was a Caesar Side Salad. I opened the bag looked at the salad and asked the girl in the drive-thru, “are you sure this is a caesar salad” and she said “Yea we changed them a long time ago like I was an idiot or something. When I got home I had to throw the salad in the trash because it was so gross! The lettuce wasn’t even green and there were brown edges and I even found some rotten pieces in there also. I called the manager and he said he would replace it but there is no way I would eat their NASTY LOOKING SO CALLED CAESAR SALAD. I am going to try to contact the regional or district manager thru Wendy’s website and let them know what kind of slop they are selling people.


  8. Janice says:

    I have always thought that caesar salads were invented for people like me who hate tomatoes. I now know better than to order a side caesar anymore at wendy’s. A couple of weeks ago I ordered one, I brought it back to the counter and asked “Is this supposed to be a caesar salad? The lady said yes and I said “Oh my god, that is aweful!”
    I have just made my complaint to Wendys.
    On a happy note…. I was excited to see that the bacon mushroom melt is back….. wish it was a regular menu item!


    • PJ says:

      Seriously? That’s WHY I get caesar salads, so I don’t have to pick off half of the ingredients and throw them in the trash. I just realized that that’s what’s supposed to be a caesar salad. I ordered one a few days ago and just thought the girl had given me the wrong salad, but when I went today and got the same thing *barfs* Definitely NOT a fan.


  9. Amy says:

    I am really missing the old caesar side salad!! I try to limit my carbs and this salad was one of my rare fast food splurges. I ordered one a month ago, got back to work and felt like the old lady in the commercial, except I was saying “Where’s the bacon???!!!” The new one has no substance, mainly iceberg lettuce, some cheese shavings and cherry tomatoes (which I don’t eat)
    Guess I will have to buy a bag of romaine and make them myself. I was searching on dogpile and found your blog and now I will have to tell Wendy’s this is a no go!


  10. Ashley Valente says:

    So unhappy w/the new ceasar!!! The old one was my favorite thing on the menu! I love tomatoes, but not on a caesar. Liked the parm better than the asiago. They even left off the best part of the origional…the bacon (remember how there was always bacon on the botton to greet you after the rest was gone?) 😦 I want the old salad back!!!


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  12. ThisSucks says:

    I just got the Wendy’s Caesar Side Salad for the first time since the change and I have to agree. IT SUCKS!! I don’t go to Wendy’s as frequently as I used to because I work from home more now. So it’s taken me a while to find out this horrible change! I went through the drive through or I would have surely thrown a fit myself. Why can’t anyone leave anything along nowadays?? It wasn’t like this salad wasn’t selling? Why fix something that isn’t broken. I swear stupidity is going to be the downfall of the US!!!


  13. ThisSucks says:

    BTW, the new fries taste just like the old ones. They just use sea salt now instead of regular salt. So that one I’m okay with.


  14. ThisSucks says:

    I just posted the following to Wendy’s feedback:

    I just got a Caesar Side Salad for the first time in a while and was very disappointed when I got back to work and found that it had been changed. The old salad was so yummy and filling, I could eat it without the dressing and save a ton of calories. This new version stinks (and that is being kind). There is enough cheese on it to feed a small kingdom. I picked more then half of it off and threw it away. Save your money and shred it finer and reduce it by at least half! And the lack of bacon was the biggest disappointment of all! It forced me to use dressing (which wasn’t even really Caesar, it was some Lemon Garlic wannabe). A little bacon adds a LOT of flavor and with the protein you get out of it, is a much better choice then high calorie crap dressing.

    What a disappointment Wendy’s!


  15. Amy says:

    I just sent this complaint in:

    I used to order a side caesar nearly every day. I just cannot get over how terrible the new caesar salad is. I have not had Wendy’s since the change and I do not plan on having Wendy’s any day soon. First of all a caesar salad does not have tomatoes on it. They never have. Google it. Asiago cheese? Really? More like cardboard. Again, caesar salads do not have this type of cheese – they are generally made with parmesan cheese. Your old salad was perfect. The lettuce was nice and fresh, now it is stale and brown. My only complaint on the old one was that sometimes the lettuce was wet on the bottom. I just kinda got used to it and would strain it before eating it. No biggie.

    The new Lemon Garlic dressing is absolutely terrible. Why ruin a caesar dressing with lemon? I called and complained on the Wendy’s hotline and the lady said -“you could have gotten a different dressing”. Well, let’s see. Hmmm, I got a caesar salad so I probably wanted the dressing to go with it. I would have just ordered a garden salad then. Especially now that there really isn’t much of a difference. I loved your old dressing so much that I would buy packets of it to keep at home. Anyhow, this salad was always my main reason for getting my family and friends NOT to go to BK, MCD’s, or anywhere else. I’d always con everyone in to going to Wendy’s just so I could have my salad with whatever else I ordered.

    I have been a fan of Wendy’s caesar salad since the chicken pita’s that you sold many years ago. You got me hooked on those and took them away so then I just stuck to the regular side caesar salad. Either way, I WILL NOT be having Wendy’s any day soon. There is nothing that is so great there that I need to go. I love the chili but I make a chili really similar so I have no need for yours. The new fries are ok and the burgers are always cold b/c of the huge piece of iceberg lettuce that is sticking out of the bun. All I taste is lettuce and tomato when I eat the burgers. I’d rather just have a Whopper from Burger King. The chicken is blah, I’d rather eat at Chick-Fil-A. I guess the only thing I’ll miss are the Toffee Coffee Twisted Frosty’s. I shouldn’t be eating those too often anyway. (:

    Anyhow, I feel bad about not liking Wendy’s anymore b/c I used to really like Dave Thomas and the values and care he put in to his restaurants and the food. All I can say now is, sorry Dave, I need to move on.


    I am so mad about this change, they have no idea. They even messed with the ‘Taco’ salad. It is now a Baja Salad and there are so few tortilla strips that it just sucks now. I used to like the old tortilla chips they served with it and the sour cream. I am just over Wendy’s and will not be returning. How sucky. ): It really does make me sad – I eat out a ton (I know, I shouldn’t….but I do). I am glad that there are others out there who feel the same way.


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  17. brian says:

    I really enjoyed the new Spicy Ceaser Salad, I thought the spicy chicken really adds a kick to an otherwise simple salad.
    the only things I did not like about the salad was the dressing, i know lemon and caeser go together but this dressing fails in comparism to any other brand of caeser dressing, and also the large wood shavings that I used in my garden to keep the weeds from poking through, I mean cheese shavings really these are massive i would rather have no cheese then to have looks to me like someone actually cut a chunk of cheese with a knife and dropped it on my salad.


  18. PJ says:

    I posted a complaint to their Facebook page. It’s there publicly so others can comment on it as well, so Wendy’s might pay a bit more attention there. I have to agree completely with everyone here. The new salads are HORRIBLE. The addition of tomatoes (which do not belong in caesar salads), the overly large pieces of cheese (which make me feel like I’m getting food from a dollar store version of a fast food restaurant. I know the food is inexpensive, but I’ve never felt that it looked cheap before), and the nasty dressing all come together to create something that’s almost impossible to even force down. I drank my entire frosty float just trying to get this salad down without having to taste it too much. VERY disappointed with the change.


  19. ANGELA says:

    I have been so aggravated with the salad changes since the day they changed. I thought I would just adjust over time, but I’m still just as annoyed! My favorite was the caesar salad which I would get with a spicy chicken breast. It was so filling and felt like a fresher menu choice that wouldn’t leave you feeling groggy.
    I would settle with a simple fix on wendy’s part, all they would have to do is make the classic caesar dressing an option. Now in a perfect world they would bring everything about the original back. The asiago cheese slices are a horrible trade for shredded parm. Worst of all is the HORRIBLE lemon garlic dressing yuk yuk yuk! the flavor doesn’t even resemble caesar dressing. I complained on the wendy’s site already a while ago but will be doing it again. there is my rant…they also screwed around with the delicious indulgent taco salad. Very dissapointing changes. On a side note I am beyond happy that they brought back chilli cheese nachos!!! that gives me hope that they may one day bring back our beloved salads!!


  20. don reid says:

    I have nothing to add that all of you havent already said. “New and improved caesar side salad = Fail”. Perhaps now nearly 2 years later they can re-introduce the “Classic” caesar side salad. Maybe now when the person at the drive-thru speaker asks if I would like to try the new whatever it is, pretending that they really care what I WANT, I will just say “No thanks just fix the caesar salad”. BTW, sea salt? really? its still just friggin salt.


  21. jon steuterman says:

    My thoughts exactly! I ordered a caesar side salad today and what I got was a small platter of day old romaine, grape tomatoes and, as you said, cheese that looked like wood chips. WTF! Why chage something that worked so well? I actually had to go in and confirm that it was,in fact, a caesar side salad. it was definitly not as I remembered it. I refused to eat that salad. why they have to raise the prices and lower the quality, the VALUE of my food? they used to be 99 cents and be a lot better. /ow you pay 1.59 for a plate of crap. seriously, my rabbit wouldn’t have even ate that, not kidding. so, way to go wendy’s, you ruined another american favorite. you should be ashamed


  22. My favorite wendy’s product was their grilled chicken ceasar salad with a hot chicken breast nicely sliced ( NOT ANYMORE). I don’t eat out, but that salad was one thing I could not get enough of. It’s been a while since I’ve been to Wendy’s, today I went and ordered a salad, and i realized it cost a bit more which was not a all a problem when I was told that the price was for a FULL SIZE SALAD and not a regular size. I use to work at wendy’s over a year ago, they had a regular size which to me was enough for 2 and the sides size, I handed those salads to other people a zillion times, i know what they use to look like.I was HUNGRY so I thought what better than a FULL SIZE salad. When the girl finally came with the salad I hesitated to even take it, not only did it look way smaller than the old regular size, the chicken was barely there, i didn’t see a trace of bacon or chesse_ To me that was ok, cuz at least I had my croutons and my dressing_ Boy was I wrong! this lemon garlic dressing was disgusting, it didn’t taste like ceasar dressing at all, just lemon; and the salad was dead, I mean DEAD like cooked spinach; finally the chicken, it wasn’t even half a chicken breast, it was cold and looked disgusting… I probablywill never buy it again, because this was horrible, I paid more for less, and what I got did not lack but was deprived of any quality…The bottle of water was the best part of my meal!


  23. Tara says:

    Yes!!! I wish they brought back that original Caesar salad my mom and I used to get about 5 at a time when they were 99 cents and save the rest for later or the next day. Hope one day they will bring it back. I even sent Wendy’s a message asking them but never got back to me.


  24. Anona says:

    I miss Wendy’s old Caesar salads too, but not as much as I miss Chick Fil A’s old side salads with the broccoli, carrots, and cabbage on it. They also sold base salads, which were the same thing but ledger, delicious! The new one has different lettuce, no other veggies and burnt bell peppers, yuck. Why do fast food restaurants change the best things?


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