Wendy's Execs Admit They Messed Up With The 'W' Cheeseburger

wendy's w burger

Photo: Wendy’s

The W cheeseburger was meant to take on the big guns of the burger business: McDonald’s Big Mac and Burger King’s Whopper.But things haven’t quite worked out as planned, admitted Wendy’s execs on the company’s Q1 earnings call.

“We will not promote the W again nationally,” said Wendy’s CFO Stephen Hare. 

Hare explained the problem:

The point of the W was to create a mid-tier pricing option for customers. However, Instead of driving consumers to trade up from 99 cent products, they saw the opposite thing happen, and people traded down from the premium burgers.

The W started at $2.99, which was too low, when you consider the Dave’s Hot ‘N Juicy burger at Wendy’s is smaller and costs $3.49.

Then, they tried to reposition the W to $3.19 and promoted it as a combo, but it still didn’t work.

“Well, the fact is that I personally have consistently seen that those $0.99 shoppers are generally $0.99 shoppers, and you’re not likely to be able to move them up to that $2.99 price point,” said Wendy’s CEO Emil Brolick. “Quite honestly, the positioning of the product was just not the right positioning.”

NOW SEE: 12 McDonald’s Menu Items That Failed Spectacularly >

NOW WATCH: Ideas videos

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.