Wendy's Breakfast Launch Starts Strong, Lifts Morning Biz


by Steve Ellwanger, MediaPost/MarketingDaily

May 18, 2020


The QSR “breakfast wars” redux looks to be more of a marathon than a sprint because of the way COVID-19 has altered morning schedules.


In the meantime, Wendy’s seems to be off to a strong start.


On March 2—before the coronavirus took over news headlines nationwide and prompted widespread home containment—Wendy’s made its nationwide foray into the profitable and highly coveted breakfast daypart.


The chain had pulled out all the stops: carpet-bombing social media with critiques of competitors’ breakfast menus, taking a billboard in Manhattan’s Times Square that posed the question “You up for this?” and running television ads with similar messaging.


“Through our marketing efforts, both on social media and on air, we quickly achieved over 50% awareness” of the breakfast launch, Wendy’s president and CEO Todd Penegor told analysts during a May 6 conference call.


From all indications, it was the success Wendy’s had hoped for. Breakfast helped to increase U.S. same-restaurant sales more than...