After a brief hiatus, the Wendy’s 4 for $4 meal deal has returned to the Cougareat menu.
The Cougareat, located in the Wilkinson Student Center, is one of the busiest places on BYU campus, servicing upwards of 8,000 guests each day, according to BYU Dining Services. It includes nine dining locations.
Cougareat guests sometimes notice menu variability. Two weeks ago, the Wendy’s 4 for $4 was removed from menu boards and temporarily disappeared from the BYU mobile dining orders app.
Abe Levin from North Carolina said he ate 4 for $4s on a weekly basis. The menu change was “very serious to me and people in my economic demographic,” he said.
Several factors contribute to fluctuating menu item availability, Director of Retail Operations and Marketing at BYU Dining Services Joe Tiapson explained.
Certified chefs monitor food trends, attend collegiate dining conferences and collaborate with vendors to help BYU stay on top of changes in the restaurant industry, he said.
“Menu selection is sometimes significantly impacted by crops, ingredient availability and market prices of those ingredients,” Tiapson added.
In the case of the Wendy’s menu, BYU Dining Services regularly meets with franchise representatives to determine brand strategy, he said. They pay particular attention to what other “non-traditional” locations are doing.
“Non-traditional locations typically have a much smaller amount of space to hold, store and prepare their products,” Tiapson said. These non-traditional locations include collegiate, airport and food court franchises.
The Wendy’s menu has been evolving. The restaurant recently introduced a new $6 Biggie Bag meal deal, which bumped the 4 for $4 off the menu board.
“The 4 for $4 was inadvertently deactivated for a few days from the app as well but is now reactivated,” Tiapson said. “We are very sorry to any guests we have inconvenienced during the downtime.”
BYU freshman Merritt Vauss said she has a campus meal plan and eats at the Cougareat every day. She said she usually buys lunch from Choices, because she feels “it’s the only healthy option.”
Other students are less concerned about nutritional value and more concerned about a value menu.
BYU student Renette Ondoua said guests only go to Wendy’s because it’s cheaper than most other Cougareat options.
“I like Chick-fil-a because I try not to eat beef,” Ondoua said. However, she said she still occasionally chooses to eat at Wendy’s for a better deal.
With so many food options in the Cougareat, Vauss said she is often inconvenienced more by inconsistent wait times than by inconsistent menu options.
BYU Dining Services said they hope that guests at their dining locations have a positive experience. They are currently working on projects that will improve and expand their services, which campus visitors can expect to see in the Fall 2023 semester.
“Our operations are by no means perfect, but we are always looking for ways to improve our operational effectiveness, add new and exciting menus and flavors, while also considering time and cost for our students,” Tiapson said.