Wendy’s adds a new menu item that includes some back-to-school nostalgia.
Starting August 15, the chain is adding French toast sticks to its breakfast menu. Made from thick Texas-style toast, it is described in a press release as having “the perfect balance between a soft, creamy interior and a crisp, golden crust with delicious hints of vanilla.” Each purchase also includes a syrup to dip.
French Toast Sticks are available in four or six-piece a la carte and as a six-piece combo. It is Wendy’s first sweet addition to its breakfast menu, which has been dominated by savory items, such as the Breakfast Baconator, and spicy, including the recently added Hot chicken and honey cookie.
“When we jumped into the breakfast menu, we were very specific with the items we brought, but we always knew we’d want to bring sweetness the right way,” said Carl Loredo, chief marketing officer of Wendy’s, to CNN Business in an exclusive. interview. “That was our foray into it.”
Customer demand and research led Wendy’s to add French toast sticks, with portability playing a “giant role” for its addition, Loredo said. He added that Wendy’s was not removing anything from the menu.
“When we launched breakfast, the goal was to right the wrongs of the boring, bland breakfasts that existed,” he said, adding that French toast sticks continue to “lean on this promise”.
Prices vary by location, with a starting price of $2.79 for the four-piece a la carte option and going up to $6.19 for the six-piece combo that includes seasoned potatoes and a drink.
Battle for breakfast
Wendy’s launched breakfast in March 2020, a few weeks before Covid overtook the United States. It was an instant hit for the chain, as consumers kept coming back even as morning routines changed and other chains saw their morning sales dry up.
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But breakfast hasn’t been enough to boost sales significantly in recent months.
“The breakfast environment has undoubtedly been tested across the industry…which has impacted our overall breakfast sales growth forecast. of the year,” CEO Todd Penegor said on a call with analysts in May 2022. He added that he “delivered strong results on the breakfast day.” Wendy’s has increased its share of this meal compared to other fast food restaurants, he said.
Adding French toast sticks ahead of the start of school could help boost Wendy’s sales, especially as rivals rebound. A recent report by research firm NDP Group found that morning activities remained stable in the second quarter of 2022, while other parts of the day (including lunch and dinner) declined amid the rise. menu prices.
McDonald’s CEO Chris Kempczinski said on a recent earnings call that breakfast was his “best performing part of the day”, adding that it makes him feel good. “It’s a change. If you remember, a few years ago I think there were a lot of questions about breakfast,” he conceded.
Other chains are also bolstering the offering, including Taco Bell, which has brought breakfast back to almost all of its locations last year. Starbucks also reported earnings that beat analysts’ expectations, despite selling a chicken and egg breakfast sandwich it had to remove menus because it made some people sick.
Wendy’s releases its results on Wednesday.
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