Wendy’s Hopes to Bring Home the Bacon With Nationwide Breakfast Launch

The fast food chain will begin serving it March 2

Wendy's will begin offering breakfast nationwide on March 2. Wendy's
Headshot of Richard Collings

Wendy’s is taking another stab at serving breakfast beginning March 2, the fast food chain announced this morning.

Customers can order up a variety of options, such as a maple bacon chicken croissant, a classic sausage, egg and cheese biscuit, as well as a honey butter chicken biscuit or a sausage and egg burrito. Because beverage is a key part of breakfast, Wendy’s will also have cold brew coffee and vanilla and chocolate “Frosty-cchinos” for sale.

Over the years, the fast food chain has made attempts at adding breakfast to its menu, but failed due to lack of scale and high costs, according to the company.

To begin offering breakfast this time around, Wendy’s made one-time investments totaling $20 million in 2019 in the purchase of menu boards for franchisees, for example, as well as on a national recruiting adverting campaign. Wendy’s said it began to market the launch of breakfast nationwide on Twitter today. The fast food chain also plans to hire 20,000 crew members, according to filings with the SEC.

Wendy’s said last year it expects breakfast to account for 10% of its sales. (The company had systemwide sales in North America of nearly $10 billion in 2018.)

The going for Wendy’s won’t be easy, though, as it takes on the likes of McDonald’s, Dunkin’ and Starbucks in the competition for consumers’ appetites and dollars.

On the sunny side, breakfast is the only part of the day that has shown year-over-year growth, according to NPD Group. The research and analytics firm went on to note that only 13% of what it describes as breakfast opportunities are satisfied by food service, while 9% of breakfasts are either missed or skipped. That, in turn, equates to a significant growth opportunity, it said.

Beverage alone is a major breakfast component. According to research and analytics firm Kantar, 5% of Americans will consume a beverage that is bought from a fast food restaurant at breakfast, at least once a week. This category of breakfast drinkers has grown by 14% in the past two years. Each week there are about 22 million beverage purchases at fast food restaurants, or nearly 1.2 billion per year, Kantar added.

“Our crew will be hand-cracking fresh eggs on all our breakfast sandwiches and leaning into the quality ingredients that have long set Wendy’s apart from the competition,” said Kurt Kane, president and chief commercial officer of Wendy’s, in a statement.

@RichCollings richard.collings@adweek.com Richard Collings is a retail reporter at Adweek.