Wendy’s is adding a new dessert for breakfast

Starting August 15, the chain is adding French toast sticks to its breakfast menu. Made with thick Texas-style toast, it’s described in a press release as having “the perfect balance of a crisp, golden-brown crust with a soft, custardy interior and delicious notes of vanilla.” Each purchase also includes syrup for dipping.

The French Toast Sticks are available in a four-piece or six-piece à la carte option, as well as a six-piece combo. It’s Wendy’s first sweet addition to the breakfast menu, which is dominated by savory items like the Breakfast Baconator and spicy, including the recent addition of the Hot Honey Chicken Biscuit.

“When we dived into the breakfast menu, we were very specific with the items we brought in, but always knew we wanted to bring dessert the right way,” Wendy’s chief marketing officer Carl Loredo told CNN Business in an exclusive interview. Interview. “It was our effort.”

Customer demand and research led Wendy’s to add French toast sticks, with portability playing a “huge role” in its inclusion, Loredo said. Wendy’s is not taking anything off the menu, he said.

“When we launched breakfast, the goal was to right the wrongs of the boring and bland breakfasts out there,” he said, adding that French toast sticks continue to “build on that promise.”

Prices vary by location, starting at $2.79 for a four-piece a la carte option and up to $6.19 for a six-piece combo that includes a seasoned potato and drink.

A battle for breakfast

Wendy’s launched breakfast in March 2020, a few weeks before Covid overtook the United States. It was an instant success for the chain as customers kept coming back even as morning routines changed and other chains saw their morning sales dry up.

But breakfast has not been enough to boost sales significantly in recent months.

“The breakfast environment across the industry is undoubtedly challenged … impacting our full-year breakfast sales growth expectations,” CEO Todd Penegor said in a May 2022 analyst call. He added that it had “delivered solid results in the breakfast day part”. He said Wendy’s has increased its share of those lunchtimes compared to other fast food restaurants.

Adding French toast sticks before the back-to-school season could help Wendy’s sales, especially as its competitors bounce back. A recent report from research firm NDP Group revealed that morning business held steady in the second quarter of 2022, while other parts of the day (including lunch and dinner) fell amid rising menu prices.

McDonald’s (MCD) CEO Chris Kempczynski said on a recent earnings call that breakfast was its “strongest performing daypart,” something it feels good about. “It’s a change. If you remember, a few years ago, I think there were a lot of questions about breakfast,” he admitted.
Other chains are ramping up the offering, including Taco Bell, which brought back breakfast to all of its locations last year. Starbucks (SBUX) Although the chicken and egg breakfast sandwich was sold, it had to be scrapped from the menu because it made some people sick.
Wendy’s (WEN) reported earnings on Wednesday.

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