NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Who knew the ordinary fast food French fry could become so fancy?
That's exactly what's happening, though, as several fast-food companies search for an easy way to serve up better profits this summer. Suddenly, the French fry is being used as a base for crispy bacon and gooey cheese sauce toppings, or something on which to sprinkle artificial powdered flavors.
Last Thursday, Wendy's (WEN) announced it will begin selling "Baconator Fries" fries Monday. The limited-time item will take toppings from its Baconator burger, which has been a hit among millennials in the U.S., and load them on to a plate of french fries. The toppings include cheddar cheese sauce, applewood smoked bacon and shredded cheddar cheese.
Pricing for the messy meal was not disclosed, but it is likely to sell for more than a typical order of large fries at Wendy's, which goes for $2.19.
Struggling McDonald's (MCD), which has notched six straight quarters of sales declines in the U.S., is also getting in on the fancy fry game. According to a report from Burgerbusiness.com, McDonald's is tinkering with its vaunted fry by introducing the ability to customize them to some extent.
Called "Shakin' Flavor Fries," the new item offers a packet of seasonings in three flavors: garlic parmesan, zesty ranch and spicy buffalo. They are available now in Northwest Ohio and Southeast Michigan, and McDonald's says it's viewing them as a local limited time item for now, according to Burgerbusiness.
The jazzed-up fries are in keeping with the mantra of McDonald's CEO Steve Easterbrook as he tries to turn around the Golden Arches: make the company a "modern, progressive burger company." McDonald's fries have a loyal fan base, so why not try and move them forward -- and charge people more for the experience?