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    Competitive Watch

    Wendy's expands its breakfast test; Dunkin' Donuts debuts new celebrity ads.

    DUBLIN, Ohio & CANTON, Mass. -- Wendy's International is expanding its breakfast test by 75 restaurants to a total of 235, on its way to reaching 650 test stores by the end of August and 30 percent of its North American system by the end of December.

    The breakfast menu now includes a steak and egg breakfast sandwich, a breakfast burrito with hot sauce, French toast sticks with syrup for dipping, the Buttermilk Frescuit -- a square-shaped biscuit with scrambled egg, cheese and choice of breakfast sausage -- and a separate grouping of bargain-priced items. The value items include sausage biscuits, a sausage and egg burrito and cinnamon rolls. A few stores also are serving regional specialties, Nation's Restaurant News reported.

    Kerrii Anderson, Wendy's president and chief executive, previously told shareholders that a systemwide breakfast rollout would bring the franchisor between $75 million and $95 million annually in receipts. The company also said one of the reasons its first breakfast attempt in 1985 failed after a few years was that it hurt the lunch daypart.

    Wendy's is accompanying its breakfast rollout with a premium coffee, Wendy's Custom Bean by Folgers Gourmet Selections, which will be offered all day, the report said.

    In other competitive news, Dunkin' Donuts is rolling out the newest advertising spots in its America Runs on Dunkin' campaign, featuring television ads directed by screenwriter, director, producer and actor Zach Braff, according to the company.

    The new spots feature supermodel Naomi Campbell touting Dunkin Donuts' iced tea and Kiss guitarist Ace Frehley in support of its iced latte. Both are showcased attempting to do everyday tasks, juxtaposed with noncelebrity folks who upstage the celebrities and do a better job completing the tasks, with a little help from Dunkin' Donuts products.

    Created by ad firm, Hill Holiday of Boston, the new multi-million dollar campaign consists of national, regional and local TV placements that will run through the end of the year. Other celebrity spots also will debut later in the year, Dunkin' said.

    The chain has more than 7,200 franchised restaurants in 31 countries worldwide.

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