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News - Wendy’s Losing Breakfast Idea to McDonald’s



Wendy’s Losing Breakfast Idea to McDonald’s

McDonald’s is considering putting breakfast on the all-day menu for their customers, not long after Wendy’s ended its national breakfast experience earlier this year. In a recent CNBC interview, McDonald’s CEO Don Thompson said that the chain is considering offering breakfast all day, but a spokeswoman said that nothing is definite.   Breakfast accounts for 25% of McDonald’s business and has been one of the biggest opportunities for the restaurant industry.

So why couldn’t Wendy’s make breakfast work? It definitely wasn’t due to lack of effort. The fast food joint has tried to target breakfast eaters many times.  Like other food habits, breakfast tends to be a routine for most, and Wendy’s has always catered to the late-night eaters as opposed to morning eaters.

Elizabeth Friend, Consumer Food Service Analyst at Euromonitor International, stated, “McDonald’s had already done such a good job claiming that share of breakfast.”

A spokesman said Wendy’s will continue to offer breakfast at the 300 to 400 locations where it’s been successful (it has 5,800 U.S. locations). Some people connected to the chain believe that Wendy’s weakness may have been the absence of a strong coffee product.

Even without all-day breakfast, McDonald’s has dominated the daypart since it introduced the Egg McMuffin some 40 years ago. “The morning consumer is very driven by habit,” said Noelle Laughter, Director of Marketing for McDonald’s USA. “It’s about appealing to the consumer need in that time frame.”

McDonald’s has revamped its coffee in recent years with McCafé; rolled out oatmeal, and this spring introduced its first breakfast sandwich in 10 years: the 250-calorie Egg White Delight to attract health-conscious consumers.

Fast food eaters, of course, have benefited from convenience and portability trends. But they’re not the only ones trying to cash in. Any fast food chain that hasn’t considered offering breakfast before seems to be having a change of heart.

 The efforts and some successes by these fast food chains are putting the pressure on full-service diners like Denny’s and IHOP, and causing these franchises to begin searching for ways to introduce a quicker breakfast.

The biggest challenge for all food chains, both fast food and full-service, is how one strategically markets to an audience for breakfast, when a quarter of the market share is already loyal to McDonald’s.  The breakfast giant’s tag line, “I’m Lovin’ It”, says it all, at least for now.

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