Wendy’s (MAGNIFYING GLASS) – Get the Wendy’s Company report (The) tends to be quite conservative when it comes to tinkering with its menu, compared to Yum Brands’ Taco Bell and KFC, which tend to make bold moves designed to grab attention.
The second hamburger chain (behind McDonald’s (MCD) – Get the McDonald’s Corporation reportbut in front of Restaurant Brands International (RSQ) – Get the report from Restaurant Brands International Inc. Burger King) generally follows what the market leader has always done: selectively adding limited-time offers while bringing back favorites from the past.
It’s a strategy that works.
New products can boom or bust. Wendy’s has had great success with its Baconator brand, which has been leveraged for a breakfast version and for Baconator fries, but new products can also fail. McDonald’s, for example, has a long list of premium burgers (hello, Arch Deluxe) that have been heavily advertised and failed to generate big sales.
Introducing an item that has some success and then removing it from the menu so you can bring it back later may not have the immediate success potential of a truly new product, but interest can develop over time.
When an old favorite returns, it brings back customers who fondly remember the item and attracts new ones who may have missed it the first time.
This strategy builds excitement, which can take a menu item from moderately successful to something that really excites consumers.
Wendy’s brings back the pub burger
Wendy’s leaned into the season by bringing back its Summer Strawberry Salad while adding a Strawberry Frosty (at the expense of the vanilla one).
Now the chain is said to be a bit heavier with its next offering, according to a note which was reportedly sent to stores and posted on Reddit.
“We’re thrilled to bring back the fan-favorite Pretzel Bacon Pub cheeseburger and chicken sandwich, along with Pub Fries, to the menu at Wendy’s in August,” the company said.
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To make way for the return of the Cheeseburger Pretzel Bacon Pub. Wendy’s will remove Big Bacon Cheddar from the menu.
The Dublin, Ohio company has not confirmed these moves.
Wendy’s will sell the Big Bacon Cheddar while supplies last, then it will be marked “no longer available” on menu boards, according to the document.
The Pretzel Bacon Pub Cheeseburger is served on a pretzel bun.
Bacon Pub Fries features sea salt fries topped with applewood smoked bacon, shredded cheddar cheese and hot beer cheese sauce, to chew reported in 2020.
Keeping the Wendy’s menu fresh
Wendy’s has been growing its business, which chief executive Todd Penegor spoke about during the chain’s first-quarter earnings call.
“We achieved a second consecutive quarter of double-digit worldwide two-year same restaurant sales, reaching 15.4%, as we achieved one of our best quarters ever the previous year,” did he declare. “This is an acceleration from our fourth quarter on a two-year basis, which highlights the momentum we have in our businesses around the world.”
Penegor credited menu innovation and limited-time offers as catalysts for this growth.
“Irresistible innovation in our hot honey chicken sandwich and cookie, fun and distinctive advertising on one of the world’s largest stages at March Madness, continued positive customer response to our core enhancements like our hot fries and crisps, and an improved operating environment with increased staff and more dining rooms open throughout the quarter,” the executive said.
The CEO says Wendy’s can increase sales by developing more promotions and establishing its schedule.
“So it’s clear that as we conduct trials, raise awareness and continue to build a strong timeline, not just on disruptive promotions on breakfast day to get people to test us, but to bring news with innovation throughout the year, this is an opportunity to continue to grow our business,” he said.