DUBLIN, OHIO — Wendy’s has big plans for breakfast. The company, which is rolling out its new morning menu in the first quarter of 2020, expects the daypart to account for 10% of daily sales.
This isn’t the first time the chain has tried its hand at breakfast. Wendy’s has struggled and failed to successfully add the daypart for decades. With business at fast-food burger chains slowing across the category, however, breakfast may help boost traffic. It is the only restaurant daypart with year-over-year growth, according to data from, the NPD Group.
“The simple truth is we just didn’t build it the right way,” said Kurt Kane, president of Wendy’s U.S. business and chief commercial officer, during the company’s investor day on Oct. 11. “It was way too complicated operationally. We had some great tasting products, but they were products we couldn’t execute.”
These past failures have helped shape the new model, Mr. Kane said. The old breakfast menu featured as many as 45 unique s.k.u.s. (stock-keeping units), $10,000 in equipment costs for each restaurant, four staff members to execute and lacked national advertising. In contrast, the new menu requires only 18 unique breakfast s.k.u.s., no equipment costs, three staff members to execute and will be advertised nationally.
“In the past we also tried to run it from both the dining room and the pick-up window as soon as we opened our restaurants,” Mr. Kane said. “We’ve architected this new menu to something that can be pick-up window focused.”
The new menu features a variety of croissants, biscuits and sandwiches, including the Breakfast Baconator, which has eggs and bacon. The menu also features chocolate and vanilla Frosty-ccinos, which combine the brand’s frosty with a new iced coffee blend.
The company already has rolled out the new model at 300 locations. Both customer and franchisee feedback has been positive, Mr. Kane said.
“The differences in the program show up from start to finish,” he said.