After Seven-Year Absence, McDonald’s Brings Back Brats
OAK BROOK, Ill. — As the saying goes: It’s a dog-eat-dog world out there.
Starting Monday, McDonald’s will bring back Johnsonville Brats to 125 restaurants in the Milwaukee area, CNBC reported. The bratwurst’s limit-time return coincides with Burger King’s recent addition of grilled hot dogs to its menu.
Seven years after discontinuing the sausages, the fast-food chain will serve its brats in a bun with ketchup and mustard.
"We continue to provide our customers with regional innovations that taste great and meet their expectations," McDonald's said in a statement.
Burger King declined to comment about McDonald’s menu expansion, the news outlet reported. The largest Burger King franchisee, Carols Restaurant Group, said the chains’ hot dogs are selling “like hot cakes.”
"We are selling between 80 and 120 grilled hot dogs per store per day with no advertising yet," Carrols Chairman and CEO Dan Accordino said on a March 3 earnings conference call.
Bonnie Riggs, a restaurant industry analyst with The NPD Group, said McDonald’s latest menu addition doesn’t necessarily signal the start of the hot dog wars.
"They are two different consumers," she said, explaining that McDonald's limited-time bratwurst offering in Wisconsin caters to a different regional demographic than Burger King's grilled dogs.
Riggs also noted the restaurant industry is highly saturated, and chains like McDonald's and Burger King are seeing increased competition from rival brands, convenience stores, grocery stores and online vendors like Blue Apron.
"The only way to grow your business is through building loyalty," she said.