Since the day it opened in 1964, Arby's has never served a hamburger.
In fact, the Arby's concept, dreamed up by brothers Leroy and Forrest Raffel, was a fast-food chain offering meals that would appeal to a customer seeking a more upscale experience.
The original menu featured only roast beef sandwiches, but the chain went on to add others, including it's now-signature curly fries, as well as fried chicken and chicken salad sandwiches.
On the whole Arby's has done well as a chain, thanks in part to Chief Executive Paul Brown's takeover in 2017. Since Brown joined the company, Arby's has continued to pull in more revenue every year.
And Brown clearly had something much bigger planned. Sparks of it first showed up in Florida and Michigan, and Reddit users were quick to report it.
After 57 years, Arby's was finally ready to serve its customers the very thing it said it never would.
Wait -- A Burger at Arby's?
Arby's test markets clearly responded well to a new burger, which an Arby's employee reported to be "52% wagyu and 48% sirloin." So now Arby's is rolling it out to all its locations.
The Wagyu Steakhouse Burger, as Arby's is calling it, launches May 23 and, like just about every fast-food promo these days, is a limited edition. The promo will run until July 31.
The burger is served on a toasted brioche bun with lettuce, tomato, pickles, red onion, American cheese and sauce. Bacon and ranch sauce are options. Prices start at $5.99 and vary, depending on location, in large part due to soaring food inflation.
“Boring Burgers are a fast-food staple, so Arby’s felt compelled to raise the bar with a Wagyu Steakhouse Burger," Patrick Schwing, chief marketing officer at Arby’s," said iin a statement.
"Instead of focusing on making billions of mediocre burgers, we’re taking a stance on high-quality meat that deserves to be cooked properly.
“As the meat experts, we’ve spent over two years of dedicated research and development to deliver a premium burger that redefines what's possible from a drive thru. Overdone burgers are over and done."
Are Wagyu and Fast Food Compatible?
Drawn from a breed of Japanese cattle, wagyu beef is commonly associated with luxury. The cows need to be raised in very specific conditions in order for the meat to have the extra-fatty marbling that makes some wagyu steaks cost upward of $200 a pound.
Due to the high cost and exacting cooking requirements, wagyu was once reserved for fine restaurants. Wagyu is usually served very rare, and its much sought-after buttery flavor is lost if it verges closes to medium rare. Chains and even midrange family restaurants generally shy away from ingredients and cooking requirements like these.
But in recent years, fast food has been picking up on the exclusivity factor to bring wagyu to its menus. McDonald's (MCD) - Get McDonald's Corporation Report Australia became the first big chain to test the Wagyu Beef Burger in 2018. Burgers are generally the most affordable way to try wagyu since it's mixed in with other cuts of beef.
Arby's is now the second major chain to, as the company puts its, bring wagyu "to the masses." The burger will be served with a slightly pink center but, as a blend of both wagyu and sirloin, it can be cooked and served in a fast-food setting.