Wendy’s wants to take a bite out of the breakfast business from competitor McDonald’s. The fast food restaurant intends to expand its morning menu next year to all 5,800 restaurants in the chain, presenting an optimal opportunity for broadcasters to get their slice of the advertising pie as Wendy’s markets the new items.
Right now, Wendy’s only serves breakfast in 300 of its restaurants, according to AdAge. This includes a Breakfast Baconator, with the addition of an egg on a hamburger; a Frosty-ccino drink that looks like a coffee syrup-enhanced take on its signature Frosty; and a honey butter chicken biscuit.
“Expanding its breakfast business nationwide gives Wendy’s a chance to entice its current customers to visit more often, and might attract diners who already buy fast-food egg sandwiches and other fare elsewhere,” AdAge surmises. Sales at Wendy’s, meanwhile, have been growing slower than they have at McDonald’s and Burger King. There is also increasing competition from the likes of Starbucks, Dunkin' Donuts and Chick-fil-A.
The move could open up a new opportunity for radio to grab a larger share of Wendy’s ad budget, especially in tandem with other complementary media. “With Wendy’s jumping into the lucrative breakfast market, media platforms which can deliver hungry audiences in transit stand to benefit from an increase in advertising activity,” Anne Hunter, EVP, Strategy & Growth, Kantar, told Inside Radio. “While drive time radio has traditionally dominated this opportunity, today advertising options that package radio with out-of-home (OOH), streaming and location-enabled digital will provide the strongest multi-channel awareness of these new breakfast choices.”
Wendy’s President and CEO Todd Penegor said in a statement, "Launching breakfast in our U.S. restaurants nationwide provides incredible growth opportunities,” along with quite an outlay to establish. Upfront costs are $20 million this year as it prepares for a 2020 introduction of nationwide breakfast, the story says.
Quick-service restaurants, a staple of radio ad diets, are on track to spend $4 billion on local advertising this year, according to a June report from BIA Advisory Services, as Inside Radio reported. Local advertising plays a crucial role for the QSR category, which includes well-known national brands and less-known regional and local favorites.
Among national advertisers, QSR is also a significant category. In one recent week this summer, according to Media Monitors, McDonald’s was the No. 5 radio advertiser, with Wendy’s at No. 10—although the latter is not a consistent radio advertiser. Frequently joining them in the category are Subway, Taco Bell, Panera Bread, Dunkin’ Donuts, Chick-fil-A, KFC, Jack in the Box, Jimmy John’s, Domino’s and Burger King.
An advertising executive told Inside Radio that despite new advertising for its breakfast menu, there is no guarantee that Wendy’s will necessarily add to its overall marketing budget. “Often it doesn’t mean there’s a new bucket of money,” the source said. “They may reallocate dollars that were planned for dinner or generic advertising to breakfast, not necessarily add to the total spend.” All the same, radio is a prime medium for breakfast QSR spots, because “the immediacy of the medium can cause people to ‘pull in’ and make a purchase.”