Here's Why Wendy's Hamburger Patties Are Square

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The hamburger. It's meaty, it's juicy, and it's an absolutely iconic creation. It's one of those American staples that seems to have always existed. And while no one quite knows where the hamburger came from, everyone knows what it is. And one man set out to make it even better.

Dave Thomas founded Wendy's Old Fashioned Hamburgers back in 1969, opening the first restaurant in Columbus Ohio (per Wendy's website). According to the company's history, Dave was a hamburger-loving kid who dreamed of opening a restaurant where people could share a fresh, wholesome meal together. Today, we know Wendy's for its red-headed logo, its unexpectedly delicious Frosties, and its boldly unique hamburger patties.

Dave Thomas didn't invent the hamburger. But he did decide to go against everything we knew about hamburgers and make Wendy's patties square. Why did he do it? The reason is twofold — and it involves some fresh innovation and an inspiring grandmother.

Being square set Wendy's apart

Sometimes being square is a good thing. According to CNN Business, when Dave opened Wendy's he sought to differentiate the new restaurant from its competitors — deciding to ditch the traditional frozen, circular, run-of-the-mill burger that the country was used to and instead form Wendy's burger patties into a square shape with fresh meat.

Frank Vamos, director of brand communications for Wendy's, told Thrillist: "Another big reason is that Dave was always very confident in the quality of our meat. He wanted to make sure that the patty sticks out of the bun so that everyone can see it, see the juiciness. And the square patty does that." Anyone who's eaten a Wendy's burger can attest to that, and knowing there's so much intention behind that iconic construction makes it that much juicer.

In addition to setting Wendy's apart from the competition and showing off the quality of their fresh meat, Wendy's Vice President of Culinary Innovation John Li says that the grill is able to hold more square patties than circular ones (per CNN Business). Now that's just good business sense.

Wendy's doesn't cut corners, thanks to Grandma Minnie

Let's get to the meat of it: there's a bigger inspiration behind the square shape, and it came from one very important person. In Dave Thomas's autobiography, "Dave's Way", he explains what a huge impact his adoptive grandmother, Minnie, had on his life. One of the many words of wisdom she'd often spew in his direction: don't cut corners. Dave quotes his grandmother, "Quality's everything, David. Remember that. If people keep cutting corners, this country's going to be in big trouble."

Turns out Dave did remember, and his grandmother's advice is one of the reasons why Wendy's was founded on such a strong sense of quality. According to the company website, Dave wanted Wendys to be "a place that didn't cut corners on quality," which is a mantra the company still adopts today.

To Dave, no corner-cutting didn't just mean literal square patties. It always came back to freshness, and it still does today. Wendy's hamburgers were created to be "fresh, never frozen," which is not just a slogan but a commitment — and the fast food industry and burger lovers alike have Dave Thomas and his grandmother to thank for that.