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Why is Wendy’s the only big chain serving baked potatoes?

    Wendys baked potato

    Can you believe Wendy’s sells over one million baked potatoes weekly? The lonely spud offering debuted in 1983 as a healthy food choice over concerns of better reduced-calorie menu alternatives. Baking potatoes are time-consuming and would not fit in a fast food environment. Wendy’s has never looked back since the first baked potato was sold.

    “If you’ve ever cooked baked potatoes at home, you know it takes a while,” Lori Estrada, Wendy’s vice president of culinary innovation, tells Thrillist. “And we cook them from a raw state, in an oven, wrapped in foil, baked for an hour, just like you would at home.”

    For the most part, when a fast food restaurant creates a new trend, others will be quick to follow. Subway started the sub craze, and now there are multiple deli sandwich chains competing with it, and Chick-fil-A did the same with the fried chicken sandwich. However, a few trends, like Wendy’s baked potato, have never been copied. Wendy’s has had a lot of success with their healthy alternative for decades, but no other fast food joint has tried to bake their potatoes instead of frying them.

    Fun Fact: In 1974, an Englishman named Eric Jenkins grew 370 pounds of potatoes from one plant.