Wendy’s will start serving a breakfast menu across all its United States stores next year. The company announced its ambitious plan on Monday, according to CNN Business.
The fast food chain already serves some breakfast items at roughly 300 locations, but as of 2020, will expand its breakfast offerings nationwide. Wendy’s has over 6,000 stores across the country, and adding several new menu options is expected to be an expensive endeavor. The company said it’s planning on hiring about 20,000 new US employees. Todd Penegor, Wendy’s president and CEO, told CNN that the breakfast rollout “provides incredible growth opportunities.”
Here’s what you need to know:
1. You Can Expect “Frosty-ccinos,” “Breakfast Baconators” and “Honey Butter Chicken Biscuits”
Breakfast connoisseurs can expect to see an updated version of an old Wendy’s favorite: the “Frosty-ccino.” According to WTOP-FM, cold brew coffee is added to the classic Frosty, and the drink comes in vanilla and chocolate flavors.
A “honey butter chicken biscuit,” which can already be found in select stores, will also be added to the national menu. Wendy’s breakfast offerings are rounded out by the “breakfast baconator”: a hefty concoction of egg, bacon, sausage, American cheese and hollandaise sauce.
Wendy’s will release a full breakfast menu, along with prices, later this year, WTOP said.
2. Wendy’s Has Already Been Serving Breakfast in Several Hundred Stores
Wendy’s currently sells breakfast in 300 of its US stores, including some of the menu items announced this week. The company has toyed with the idea of going nationwide for a few years, BrandEating has reported, but didn’t take the leap until now.
According to the food blog, Wendy’s breakfast had already gone through several trial runs on a smaller scale by 2012, but the chain was “still not getting the results they want to go nationally yet.”
At the time, the company tried its hand at a “sunny side burger,” a “bacon fire-roasted burrito,” and a “mornin’ melt panini,” among other options.
3. Nationwide Breakfast Will Cost Wendy’s About $20 Million
Wendy’s nationwide breakfast expansion is expected to initially cost about $20 million, and some experts are wary about the initiative’s high price tag. Analysts from BTIG downgraded Wendy’s stock to neutral from buy, according to Market Watch.
“We are cautious on the prospects given the required upfront investment but uncertain payoff, additional labor needs at a time of already low availability, necessity to take market share from established competitors like McDonald’s and general difficulty of daypart expansion in the industry,” the analysts said in a note on Tuesday.
Others are less pessimistic about the move, like Brett Levy, the executive director at MKM Partners, Market Watch reported.
“Wendy’s products and menu are well regarded and its bacon strength is a product line that resonates at breakfast,” Levy said in a note. “As a result, there is the potential for its breakfast initiative to benefit from the support and leverage from its existing menu’s brands and strengths.”
4. Wendy’s Added Other New Menu Options This Year, Including the “Peppercorn Mushroom Melt”
Breakfast foods aren’t the only new additions to Wendy’s menu. In February, the company expanded with “Made to Crave” options. The “s’awesome bacon cheeseburger,” for one, started as a limited edition menu item, but was brought back permanently after positive reviews.
A “peppercorn mushroom melt” burger was also added, and features white mushrooms, crunchy fried onions and smoked peppercorn aioli. The new “BBQ cheeseburger,” true to its name, rounded out the burger trio.
In August, Wendy’s announced the return of its famous spicy chicken nuggets, describing them on Twitter as “better than anyone expects from a fast food joint.”
5. Other Fast Food Chains Have Also Bet Big on Breakfast
Wendy’s is certainly not the first fast food chain to experiment with breakfast. McDonald’s has been one of the industry leaders since the 1970s, when the company started letting owners of its franchise stores sell breakfast foods, CNN reported.
This year, McDonald’s added donut sticks to its morning menu, hoping to bring in even more breakfast customers.
Dunkin’ Donuts, a chain more customers might naturally associate with breakfast, has experimented with a wide range of different items, too, including breakfast sandwiches and bowls.
Read More: Wendy’s Brings Back Spicy Chicken Nuggets