Arby’s New Value Menu

5 05 2010

I adore Arby’s roast beef. I don’t know why – it does not taste like or resemble natural roast beef. I guess it has that Taco Bell appeal – totally unnatural and processed, yet amazingly tasty. Or maybe they are slipping something into the sandwiches that is purely there to make people addicted to the product. What do you think soda companies use caffeine for?

Anyway, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that Arby’s FINALLY came out with a respectable value menu. As a fast food connoisseur, I have learned that one of the first things to look at when browsing the menu is everything on the value menu. You can often find the same food that is included in the combos without the inflated prices.

Arby’s used to have an amazing “5 for $5.95 deal” that allowed the customer to pick 5 items from a value menu for one price. I always chose 3 roast beef sandwiches, 1 fries, and 1 drink. Why would you order a combo for the same price and only get one moderately larger sandwich instead of three? The other advantage of this promo was that you could totally customize your order. If you really liked fries and were craving a shake, you could order 2 sandwiches, 2 fries, and a shake. Its that simple.

So how does Arby’s new value menu compare to the old $5.95 deal? Not especially well. Most if not all the items on the new value menu are priced around a dollar. Items include –

  • Roast Beef Sandwich
  • Ham and Cheese Sandwich
  • Chicken Sandwich
  • Small Fries (really small)
  • Apple / Cherry Turnover
  • Jamocha Shake

Pricing each of these separately has the benefit of not forcing the customer to spend $6.00. However, I was seriously disappointed by one change they made to this menu.

The sandwiches are really small. Now this may have been just my experience, but the sandwiches on the old $5.95 menu had way more meat than the new $1.00 roast beef. I feel confidant in this theory, because I know for a fact that Arby’s carefully weighs the meat before it is placed on each bun. They may have scaled down the portion size… say from four ounces to three ounces, and it is noticeable. I ate three value menu sandwiches, and a fries, and I was nowhere near full. These new roast beef and ham sandwiches would be the perfect size in a kids meal for a five year old.

The chicken sandwich was marginally better. It was about the same as Wendy’s value chicken sandwich (fun fact – Wendy’s owns Arby’s). The chicken was of the processed and formed variety (a.k.a. disc-shaped chicken nugget). It was decent though, and had more to it than the pathetically small roast beef and ham sandwiches.

The small fries were just that – small. When the employee does not fill up this tiny fries to the top, its really not worth ordering. Its like ordering your fries in a dixie cup.

If the items on Arby’s new value menu were beefed up a bit (pun intended), I would be all over it. I will still have to stop by to have my roast beef fix now and then. Oh and while I’m at it, one last word for Arby’s –

Change the name of the “Large Roast Beef” back to the “Big Montana”!

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