Mar 21, 2022 (Baystreet.ca via COMTEX) -- Two years ago, Wendy's, which is under the Restaurant Brands International banner (NYS:QSR) , launched its breakfast menu nationwide, finally crossing the finish line for a goal it tried and failed at for nearly four decades. Then came COVID lockdowns.
Before the pandemic, breakfast was the only meal that drew a growing number of customers to fast-food chains. Lunch and dinner traffic was shrinking as consumers chose healthier options or made their meals at home. For Wendy's, entering breakfast would allow the burger chain to attract new sales without cannibalizing its lunch, snack or dinner traffic.
Wendy's stuck to its plan even as COVID took hold, serving up egg sandwiches and breakfast burgers as rival restaurant chains opened later or trimmed their early morning offerings. It now holds the third-largest market share of any burger chain in the competitive breakfast category, behind QSR's Burger King and a dominant McDonald's (NYS:MCD) .
By the fourth quarter of 2021, breakfast sales accounted for roughly 8% of Wendy's U.S. sales, still shy of the chain's goal of 10% of total U.S. sales. Last year, the company grew its breakfast sales by about 25%, and Wendy's thinks the daypart has more room to grow. In 2022, the burger chain expects its breakfast sales to climb an additional 10% to 20%.
In the fourth quarter, Burger King's U.S. same-store sales rose just 1.8%, trailing both McDonald's and Wendy's metrics for their home markets.
And even though McDonald's is still the dominant player in the early-morning daypart, experts say Wendy's could eventually become number one.
QSR shares gave back 11 cents to $58.29.
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