Home Business Wendy’s Puts Breakfast on the Menu – The Wall Street Journal

Wendy’s Puts Breakfast on the Menu – The Wall Street Journal

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Wendy’s will spend $20 million to add more menu items and longer hours at its 5,813 domestic restaurants.


Photo:

Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg News

Wendy’s
Co.

said it will bring back breakfast across its U.S. restaurants next year as fast-food chains compete to lure diners during more of the day.

The burger chain said Monday that it will spend $20 million to add more menu items and longer hours at its 5,813 domestic restaurants. Wendy’s said it and its franchisees will hire some 20,000 workers to help roll out the expanded offerings.

Shares fell about 4% after hours to $21.01 when Wendy’s said the investments had prompted it to adjust guidance for its current fiscal year. The company said it expects earnings per share adjusted for one-time items to decline between 3.5% and 6.5%, down from its previous forecast for growth of 3.5% to 7.0%.

Breakfast has become an increasingly competitive part of the day for major fast-food companies.

McDonald’s
Corp.

has pointed to competition in breakfast as a key area of concern. Guest growth in breakfast is starting to recover for McDonald’s after a slide, the company has said, but progress remains slow.

“There’s been a lot of new entrants into that space,” McDonald’s Chief Financial Officer

Kevin Ozan

said during a July call to discuss the company’s most recent earnings report.

Wendy’s currently sells breakfast items at about 300 restaurants after earlier efforts to expand nationwide were scrapped. The company abandoned a 2012 push into breakfast at more of its restaurants after a year. Too eclectic a mix of healthy and indulgent options as well as competition from McDonald’s and

Starbucks
Corp.

were seen as problems at the time, analysts said.

A Wendy’s spokesperson said the company is confident in this launch. The new Wendy’s morning menu features a bacon breakfast sandwich, a chicken biscuit and one of the chain’s Frosty shakes made with coffee. Working those popular Wendy’s items into breakfast foods will help the chain’s menu stand out, Chief Executive

Todd Penegor

said on Monday.

Write to Heather Haddon at heather.haddon@wsj.com

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