'They have brand equity in bacon': The pros and cons of Wendy's big breakfast plans


By Dan Eaton, Columbus Business First

Sep 16, 2019


Wendy’s surprised industry watchers last week with its announcement of a nationwide breakfast rollout.


The question that follows: Will it surprise consumers as well?


The Dublin-based company last week said it plans to roll out breakfast across its 5,000-plus U.S. store base in 2020. While competitors have been serving bacon, sausage, eggs and coffee for years – most notably the industry-dominating McDonald’s Corp. where a quarter of its sales are the breakfast menu – Wendy’s Co. has made three past attempts at entering the market that never took.


Will it be different this time around? The market, for one, remains skeptical. Stock prices fell after the announcement and have stayed at those levels in the days since.


And analysts following the company say there are certainly questions about what Wendy's (Nasdaq: WEN) can accomplish, even as the company may capitalize on certain advantages for better results.


“It’s daunting to think they can battle their way into that day part,” said John Gordon, principal of Pacific Management Consulting Group.


Breaking consumer habits will be a challenge as breakfast consumers are the most habitual, analyst Sara Senatore of AllianceBernstein LP wrote in a research note.


McDonald’s and Jack-in-the-Box are industry leaders with around 25% of sales from breakfast, although...


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