Breakfast has long been a crowded space among fast-food competitors. As restaurants continue to duke it out over morning meals, a new opponent is entering the ring next month with some tantalizing offerings that may just unseat the McMuffin.
On Tuesday, Wendy's confirmed that it will be launching breakfast nationwide on March 2. In September, the chain made the initial announcement that it would be revamping its a.m. offerings sometime in 2020 but remained tight-lipped about specifics.
New menu items will include the Breakfast Baconator, the Frosty-ccino (a Frosty-inspired coffee drink) and the Honey Butter Chicken Biscuit.
“Our crew will be hand-cracking fresh eggs on all our breakfast sandwiches and leaning into the quality ingredients that have long set Wendy’s apart from the competition,” Wendy’s U.S. president Kurt Kane said in a statement. Cracking fresh eggs will set Wendy's apart from other fast-food chains like Burger King and Dunkin', which use egg patties that contain various fillers. McDonald's, however, uses freshly cracked eggs in many of its sandwiches.
The Breakfast Baconator, a spin on Wendy's Baconator burger, is made with an egg, six strips of Applewood smoked bacon, one breakfast sausage patty (it will be square, of course) and two slices of American cheese, all topped with a cheesy hollandaise sauce
The chain's Frosty-ccino combines cold brew coffee with either chocolate or vanilla Frosty cream.
Wendy's Honey Butter Chicken Biscuit features a buttermilk biscuit base, topped with a fried chicken breast that's been slathered with whipped honey butter.
Other menu items will include seasoned breakfast potatoes and croissant sandwiches.
This isn't the first time Wendy's has attempted a breakfast rollout.
In the 1980s, the chain introduced a breakfast menu that included items such as made-to-order omelets, French toast and toasted sandwiches. But the dishes were too time consuming for workers to make and the menu was ultimately discontinued.
Still, since breakfast has remained a popular front in the fast-food wars, it has been tested in some capacity at various Wendy’s locations for years. In 2013, the chain tried again, briefly rolling out a breakfast value menu featuring dishes like sausage biscuits and breakfast burritos.
Wendy’s currently serves a limited breakfast menu at about 300 restaurants, including those in airports, but the new plan will see that expand to 6,000 U.S. locations in 2020. Since many locations currently don’t open until late morning, the chain plans to hire as many as 20,000 new crew members over the next year to fulfill the early demand.
McDonald’s, which has around 13,000 locations nationwide, will still have access to the lion’s share of fast-food breakfast seekers, but Wendy’s is clearly looking to take a big bite out of that market with a $20 million investment that will allow its stores to open earlier next month.