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Wendy's Hits the Brakes on Breakfast Expansion

MIAMI, Fla. -- Hungry customers who want to buy breakfast at Wendy's will be able to continue doing so at the 375 to 400 restaurants that serve it, but expansion of the fast food chain's breakfast test is off the table for the next three years, according to a report. CEO Emil Brolick discussed the lack of breakfast push last week during his A Cut Above/Recipe to Win presentation at the ICR Xchange investor conference.

Brolick noted a $14.6 million hit Wendy's took scrapping breakfast equipment at restaurants where breakfast was underperforming. "Not underperforming restaurants; underperforming breakfast restaurants," Brolick stressed.

Wendy's will continue to support the restaurants that still serve breakfast, but there are no plans to expand the program in the near future. "Breakfast is not going to be a top priority in this next three-year period," Brolick stated. Longer term we may well come back to that."

It isn't out of the question that Wendy's could explore breakfast again sooner than 2016, but to do so would require "a much more profitable way to approach that daypart opportunity," said Brolick.

Dublin, Ohio-based Wendy's has been exploring breakfast for several years and planned to take the program national in November 2011, as CSNews Online previously reported. More recently, the chain took steps to revamp its value menu to become the largest in the quick-service restaurant market.

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